Microsoft 'Streamlines' Smartphone Business To Near Extinction With Additional 1,850 Layoffs

It seems as though Microsoft is coming around to the realization that it has a snowball's chance in hell of competing with Android and (to a lesser extent) iOS for smartphone market share, so it's pulling back even further than it already has. Or more specifically, Microsoft's is "streamlining" its smartphone business, which entails another round of layoffs.

In a memo sent to employees, Microsoft's head of Windows and devices, Terry Myerson, announced the layoffs saying the bulk of them will occur in Finland. He also denied the notion that Microsoft is abandoning the smartphone sector altogether, saying instead that it's "scaling back" as the Redmond outfit continues its mission of building a universal Windows 10 foundation across different device categories.

Lumia 950 XL

"Last week we announced the sale of our feature phone business. Today I want to share that we are taking the additional step of streamlining our smartphone hardware business, and we anticipate this will impact up to 1,850 jobs worldwide, up to 1,350 of which are in Finland," Myerson stated in the memo. "These changes are incredibly difficult because of the impact on good people who have contributed greatly to Microsoft."

For various reasons, Microsoft hasn't been as successful in the smartphone sector as it's been in other categories. This is something Myerson admits in the memo, noting that Windows 10 is now installed on more than 300 million monthly active devices, and that customer satisfaction for Surface and Xbox are at record levels.

"Yet our phone success has been limited to companies valuing our commitment to security, manageability, and Continuum, and with consumers who value the same. Thus, we need to be more focused in our phone hardware efforts," Myerson added.

Despite the layoffs and the effort to scale back, Myerson said Microsoft will continue to update and support its current Lumia and OEM partner phones, as well as "develop great new devices."