It was really inevitable so it’s no surprise that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote in an open letter that Nokia X phones will be discontinued. Sort of. His exact words were “select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows”, hinting that some of the existing line might see themselves running Windows Phone 8.1 soon.
You don’t really need both hands to count the number of Nokia X designs in existence today. There are practically only three, four if you count the dual SIM Nokia X+. So there really isn’t much “selection” to be required here. But if there will be one involved, it might be the Nokia X2, which is a marked improvement over the Nokia X and XL, which looked more like prototypes when held in comparison. That said, the letter mentions “Nokia X product designs” and not exactly products, so we might be looking at Nokia Lumia phones looking like Nokia X’s in the future instead.
This adoption, or “integration”, of the Nokia X design into the Windows ecosystem seems to be part of Nadella’s vision for affordable smartphones. After all, they were able to pull down the prices of the Nokia X down to the same level of the Lumia 520, arguably the best among the cheapest Lumia phones. A bit worrying for fans of Microsoft/Nokia’s other budget line, Nadella makes no mention of Asha, which leads to speculation that this too would be on its way out.
The news comes as part of Microsoft’s strategy to restructure and reimagine itself as a “productivity and platform company” under Nadella’s leadership. Part of that involves further pulling in the Nokia Devices and Services division that it acquired from the Finnish company, which now still exists just as a fraction of its once glorious self. Unfortunately, that integration also means letting go of employees that will have become redundant in Microsoft’s new vision of itself. Nadella says that as much as 18,000 members of their workforce will be let go in the next year, in order to make the company more agile and move faster. Talk about throwing away excess weight.