Yesterday the news broke that Microsoft had made the decision to axe at least 18,000 jobs over the next year. This move comes as part of a wider effort by the company to restructure and streamline itself in the face of a declining market position. As part of these job losses, the company is reportedly planning to kill of several of its major divisions which it believes are not part of its new core strategy.
Microsoft Android Devices
Before they were acquired by Microsoft, Nokia had been working on a new line of phones, which it called its ‘Nokia X’ line, running not Windows Phone, but rather a modified version of Google’s Android. These phones were intended to be marketed at a low price point to consumers in the developing world.
While this strategy made sense to Nokia pre-acquisition, since the company is now owned by Microsoft, selling Android phones in direct competition with Windows Phone (Microsoft’s main mobile priority), seems like a rather counterproductive idea. For this reason, everybody was left scratching their heads when Microsoft announced earlier this year the X2, a successor to the original Nokia X.
Now it seems that Microsoft was simply clearing stock, and intends to rework all future devices from this division into devices for Windows Phone. In conjunction with this, Microsoft is looking to strongly position Windows Phone devices for the developing world. The company is hoping to repeat the success of the Nokia Lumia 520, and establish a foothold in markets like Brazil, India and China.
Xbox Entertainment Studios
Several years ago Microsoft began a foray into original digital content. This was intended to build up the profile of Xbox Live, allowing it to become a fully fledged digital content provider, rather than just a video gaming platform. Despite assurances that Microsoft is planning to stay the course with the Xbox brand, the company decided in the end to cull the studio, for reasons currently unknown.
The most likely prompt for this, was that the new CEO Satya Nadella decided that a media production arm for Microsoft was straying too far from the business’ core focus. This can be seen as a part of recent moves lead by him to position the company company as a cloud-focused software provider, rather than a sprawling behemoth with its toes in many industries.
Despite this closure, Microsoft has stated that it intends to continue and complete the production of pre-existing Xbox Entertainment Studios products. This will reportedly include the high-profile Halo TV series, and the associated Halo: Nightfall miniseries.
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