As well as the sad news of large scale layoffs at Microsoft, there are also some phone casualties.
Microsoft seemed to be embarrassed when Nokia announced an Android phone just before it its acquisition was finalized.
You might think that Microsoft selling an Android phone is crazy but there was a lot of sense in the idea as this was no ordinary Android phone. It may have been running the Android core OS, but the services were all Microsoft. In the same way that Amazon turned Android to its own purposes, so Microsoft could have modified Android to deliver an ever-increasing range of its online services. Instead of defaulting to the Google search and maps, the Microsoft flavor of Android offered Bing and Bing Maps.
Microsoft Android even looked like a Windows Phone
If Microsoft was to become a services company, as the propaganda kept repeating. then what better than embracing Android as a way of getting its services into the hands of customers? After all, end users don't really care what the core OS is as long as the UI is good and the apps are there.
Despite this logic Microsoft is dropping the OS while keeping the hardware. As part of the job cuts announcement Satya Nadella states:
“We plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows.”
After clarification, this means Microsoft won't continue with any Android models in the future.
So, if you own a Nokia X you have just been cut adrift. If you developed any apps that made use of any specific Nokia X features then you need to find a way to support the feature on stock Androids - or switch to Google services.
As well as killing off Microsoft Android, the company is also discontinuing the low end Asha and S40 feature phones. Mostly popular in the developing world, it was speculated that Microsoft might use them as a way to get into these growing markets. The Asha recently had an SDK announced for it, but this was really just a development on the S40 range. There are estimated to be over 700 million S40 phones in use and if you are tempted to create software for this market time is running out. From now the phones are in "maintenance mode" and support services will close in 18 months.
This does seem to be the end for Nokia phones and their operating systems from Symbian through to the S40 and Asha.
Put simply, I think you could summarize the situation as - Microsoft will be making nothing but Windows phones from this point on.
This is almost unprecedented. First we have a major result in computer science. A couple of months later it is suddenly retracted, causing a wave of disappointment through the community. But to [ ... ]