Microsoft has announced another job cut impacting its mobile division in Finland, laying off a total of 1,850 workers in an attempt to finally bring the Nokia experiment to an end and start focusing on projects that it thinks can push forward its mobile effort, including here the Surface Phone. Risto Siilasmaa, Nokia’s chairman since mid-2012, has taken to Twitter to express his view on Microsoft’s latest job cut, explaining that he’s really saddened to see Windows Phone failing.
“The market deserved a third ecosystem,” he says, pointing out that Windows Phone could have been a rival to Android and iOS.
But it’s not like Microsoft didn’t want this to happen. But the internal struggle at Microsoft and the acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services unit were too much to deal with for the software giant, so minimizing damages created by a purchase that not everyone agreed with was a priority.
People with knowledge of the matter said that Nokia’s purchase was a plan proposed by Steve Ballmer, at that point still CEO of Microsoft. Although founder Bill Gates didn’t agree with the acquisition at first, Ballmer threatened with his resignation in case the deal hadn’t gone through, so the board decided to allow Microsoft to take over Nokia’s Devices and Services unit.
But shortly after the purchase, Microsoft started the damage control process and fired thousands of people in an attempt to deal with the 25,000 employees coming from Nokia. Microsoft aimed for a more effective organization that would ultimately give Windows Phone a boost, but with yesterday’s announcement, the company sort of admits that its plan failed.
And Nokia’s chairman backs the decision to sell the Devices and Services unit to Microsoft, although that was clearly a controversial move.
“While I knew with certainly that the sale of handsets was a must-do for Nokia back I n2013, I wished for Microsoft to succeed with all my heart,” he said. “The market deserved to have a third ecosystem. Our people who transferred over deserved to win. Their talent and perseverance through hardships earned them the right to win. I am deeply sad that it did not work out.”
Microsoft, on the other hand, says that Windows 10 Mobile is here to stay, explaining that it would continue to support the platform and the ecosystem. Truth be told, it would be more accurate to say that Lumia is dead, as Microsoft still has plans for Windows 10 Mobile, and the Surface Phone is without a doubt a critical part of this strategy.