I never understand when corporation does something like this. Why not spend the 1.1-1.6$ billion that your going to loose anyway and spend it on the people your going to fire and have them create something that will sell.
The smart phone business is rapidly becoming a commodity. The margins are shrinking very fast. This is not the kind of business Microsoft can thrive in. (For that matter, the same comment is true for Apple as well.) Five years ago, it was different story. Unless a technological breakthrough takes place, I predict that both Apple and Microsoft will be out of smart phones in less than ten years, perhaps in as little as five years. I very much doubt that Microsoft will recoup its investment in Nokia.
The Verge reported that employees working on these two phones were among those laid off as well as those involved with Nokia's MixRadio offering, which may possibly be spun off as a third-party service.
"Development and investment for Asha, Series 40, and Nokia X handsets will shift to what is described as 'maintenance mode,' and services to support existing devices will be shut down over the next 18 months."
Another question is needed to ask is whether MS knows what it takes to create a product that will sell. If the answer is NOT a definite yes, keeping the developers around may not do any good to both MS and to the developers. Who knows! This layoff may be good to those affected person. They may spin off to make something that sells and then will end up selling the company back to MS. They can then all retired. ;)
What about Nokia Lumia Windows phone? Do they have plans to continue development in Lumia Windows phone in log term? Or would they again drop Lumia or Nokia X after they migrate Nokia X to windows platform?
Those who haven't already should read the actual memo. It quite possibly could be the worst layoff memo in tech history, starting with "Hello there." More than 7,000 words later, Mr. Elop gets around to the point of the memo, which is the layoff.
Given that many people will not fully read a really long email because it takes up too much of their valuable time, I have to wonder if there were affected employees who received the email, scanned through it and then moved on, without noticing that it was in fact a layoff notice.