Microsoft finally puts the axe to Nokia’s Android lineup

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When we first heard Microsoft had acquired Nokia and that Nokia was working on an Android device, we assumed their new ownership would persuade them to drop all plans to launch that device. They didn’t, of course, as we were introduced to the Nokia X family of devices a short time after the rumors started spiraling out of control. The acquisition wasn’t final at that point in time, so we figured Nokia had no reservations about that launch.

With the acquisition finalized and closed we thought “no way could there be another one.” And then we were proven wrong again with the launch of the X2. Had Microsoft been alright with Nokia making Android devices all this time? It appeared so… until today.

Microsoft vice president Stephen Elop, in an open letter to the company’s employees (that he was nice enough to publish online), addressed future plans for Nokia and the team that came over as part of that aforementioned acquisition. The one thing that stood out for us was the revelation that Nokia would continue to address the affordable smartphone market, but not with their Nokia X line. Instead, they want to spawn a new line of affordable Windows-based Lumia devices to fill that same void.

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We will be particularly focused on making the market for Windows Phone. In the near term, we plan to drive Windows Phone volume by targeting the more affordable smartphone segments, which are the fastest growing segments of the market, with Lumia.

In addition to the portfolio already planned, we plan to deliver additional lower-cost Lumia devices by shifting select future Nokia X designs and products to Windows Phone devices.

That doesn’t mean the Nokia X or Nokia X2 you just bought has instantly become irrelevant and obsolete. Elop made it a point to remind folks that those devices would continue to be supported and updated throughout their life cycle. That said, don’t expect any hot sequels a couple of years down the line.

This shift in strategy didn’t come as a surprise — it’s Microsoft. And while the company has never been quite as bloodthirsty as the likes of Apple when it comes to these mobile wars (as evidenced by a wide range of their apps and services being made available on Google Play), we’re sure it didn’t sit well with them that the company they spent $7.2 billion on was making smartphones with competing platforms (though obviously nothing nearly as good as they’ve made with the Lumia line to this point).

At the end of the day, we’re glad Nokia put aside their petty reservations about Android and gave it a shot, even if the device they did it with was nothing to write home about. They did everything they could to mask Android, going as far as changing the very nature of the operating system and refusing to use any Google services.

But they still used it, and that’s something they said they didn’t want to do from the beginning. We’re not sure whether we should be crediting that to Android’s dominance and influence or a lack of resolve on Nokia’s part, but it was all fun to watch either way.

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  • qpinto

    sounds like nokia just tried it for trying its sake. they should have released a flagship and marketed it properly. i know many people who would scream take my money for a high end android nokia phone with the camera which is found on the lumia 1020.

  • Sharky

    “Microsoft CEO Stephen Elop” – he wishes! Satya Nadella is CEO, Elop is Vice President of Microsoft Devices & Services

  • Vladimír Jícha

    I think that the reason why Nokia published the X line was the fact that they could not make a really cheap WP phone. In contradiction of what most people believe, WP is much more demanding on HW then Android. Even the slowest Lumia 520 has a fast dual-core Krait CPU. WP could not run on the HW that powers most cheap Android phones.

    But these days even some HW powerful enough to run WP is pretty cheap so there is no more need for Android. They can put WP even on the cheapest phones.

  • HeatFan786

    Still a joke. That thing was a pathetic device series even for a midrange device.

  • moises1204

    What am i going to do now! without nokia x? my life is over now!!!!

  • ludist210

    Another key reason behind this is probably because Microsoft fired 12,500 Nokia employees…

  • Dr. Mark Lipschitz

    Microsoft should just join Amazon and fork Android and find a way Android users can migrate their apps. Existing Windows Phone users that switched to Microdroid could be given $200 in free store credit toward apps so they are not upset. Limited app availability- solved. Millions of dollars in r&d-saved. Relaunch under Microsoft’s name instead of the tarnished Windows name. They still may not be a player but they would have a better chance.

    • Mark Wheeler

      I’m pretty sure that would upset more people than you think and not everyone is gonna be bought off by by gift cards.

      I mean I know this may come as a shock but there are people who just don’t like android or iOS and want an alternative.

      • Dr. Mark Lipschitz

        Agreed, but Nokia has already changed the look and feel of Android. Most people wouldn’t even know the Amazon Fire phone is Android either.

  • androidscales

    Windows Kin, windows mangoe, windows 7, windows 8 now noxia x phone failure after failure still ms creates pos windows phone. MS needs to stop pos windows phone and tablet that no one wants or cares

  • http://batman-news.com Caffiend

    I can’t help but to think that there was a huge upside here for Microsoft. I mean, Apple makes their own hardware for their OS but keeps it for themselves, Microsoft could have been a game changer here. At this point in the OS game, I doubt that there’s a lot of room for progressive competition left anymore. Microsoft could have used the Nokia’s renowned hardware quality to show off and grow Microsoft and make money by delivering solid Android phones while showing just how open and flexible the Android OS is. I fully understand that Microsoft is a mobile company too, and obviously they bought Nokia to further their brand, but again, I really feel that there was something unique to develop here. Perhaps down the line when they find that Microsoft’s OS cant grow too much farther than their specialized market….

  • Perry_F

    Too bad. the thought of a high spec android phone with the build quality of a good lumia would have been great. While I’m a die hard android user I will admit that lumia build quality is really good. And using the wifes lumia has given me a new appreciation for the MS operating system. It’s actually pretty good. Her lumia has only 512mb of ram and its buttery smooth, zero lag. If they could get the lack of apps fixed they could really make a run at android/apple.

  • nyc_rock

    “Microsoft finally puts the axe to Nokia’s Android lineup”

    LOL. Finally? They just released it two months ago!

  • CGS

    I would buy that phone if it came with those two hot guys in that picture. lick.

    • DannyB2

      Yep.

  • JointhePredacons

    Nokia had a chance to make itself semi relevant again. Now its in the same sinking ship with Blackberry.

  • Wozn2

    Another pointless line in the increasingly pointless history of MicroNok