Posted by Chris Martin 21 July 2014
Microsoft's all or nothing bet on Windows Phone is the best way forward
Microsoft recently announced a major restructuring involving 18,000 job cuts showing that the firm is happy to go all or nothing on the Windows Phone mobile operating system.
As you probably know, Microsoft finalised its acquisition of Nokia in April and it's only taken a few weeks for things to change dramatically. In gaming terms, the Redmond-based tech giant has made a 'big play' and it better hope it's made the right one.
The announcement detailed that most of the job cuts were to be on the Nokia side of the business – a whopping 12,500 across professional and factory positions. Most will be made by the end of the year with full completion expect by 30 June 2015. Microsoft's new CEO, Satya Nadella says the huge change is difficult but necessary.
Not only is Microsoft downsizing its Nokia business, it's axing the Android-powered Nokia X smartphones – which we were all surprised about in the first place. On top of this, The Verge reports that investment and development of Series 40 Asha feature phones is being put into 'maintenance mode,' with services to support existing devices to be shut down over the next 18 months.
"Whereas successful hardware was the goal at Nokia; delighting our customers with Microsoft platforms, services, and applications through our hardware is our goal at Microsoft," said Jo Harlow, heads of Microsoft's phone business.
All of this means that Windows Phone is the firm's sole hope in the smartphone market going forwards. If Microsoft were in a casino it would be putting all its chips on one colour at the roulette table or going all in on one hand in a poker game.
The firm has taken a gamble so the question is: will it pay off? Changes a big as these will take time to come into place so we're not going to find out quickly. Windows Phone has improved a lot recently, particularly with the 8.1 update. The hardware has also been upgrade significantly, helping with the fight against the iPhone and flagship Android handsets.
"To win in the higher price tiers, we will focus on breakthrough innovation that expresses and enlivens Microsoft’s digital work and digital life experiences." said Nadella.
Windows Phone has gained some traction in the mobile market now with more than 10 percent market share and although these changes are drastic, they've got to be Microsoft's best chance of competing with Apple and Google.
A while ago I wrote a blog on how Microsoft should simplify its strategy so sticking to the Windows ecosystem is surely the way to go. Nokia Android phones made no sense from the beginning and feature phones are a thing of the past.
Microsoft is making tough choices, and focusing only on Windows Phone. It's painful, but the only way that Microsoft can succeed in the mobile space.