It was announced by Microsoft earlier this week that they’d be cutting 1,850 more jobs, as well as take on a $950 million chare that is related to its disappearing mobile phone business. The company has also aid that they’ll be selling off its non-smartphone “feature phone” business – still about 20 percent of the US market but declining.
The announcements made by Microsoft just about brings to a close the chapter in the company’s efforts to try catching up to Android and iOS.
The Windows Phone OS first came out in late 2010, replacing Windows Mobile. The company felt they had to mimic Apple’s integrated hardware-software approach, and even purchase’s Nokia’s mobile devices unit three years later for almost $8 billion. Since then, Microsoft had written the entire acquisition off, taking an initial $7.6 billion charge last year.
Microsoft will continue making phones for enterprises, as well as supporting third-party OEMs that want to use their OS. But, because of limited consumer demand, those efforts will probably be unsuccessful as well.Right now, the enterprise mobile and consumer markets are almost 1:1.
On the bright side, the company has had success with its Surface laptop-tablet hybrid strategy. There are even unconfirmed rumors of a “Surface phone.” If there’s any substance to these rumors, it’s possible that Microsoft could try launching a Windows 10 featured smartphone brand.
Although CEO Satya Nadella has successfully (and with some profits) embedded iOS and Android devices with Microsoft apps, the revenue isn’t exactly substantial. Most of the company’s current mobiel revenue is likely tied to patent licensing from Android OEMs.
The mobile market remains a critical business for Microsoft as PC sales continue to decline. Microsoft isn’t the only company whose smartphone attempts failed as well. Amazon also failed at bringing out their own brand of smartphones.
Could it be that we’ll possibly be hearing about a Cortana-based virtual assistant device from Microsoft that will compete with Echo, as well as Google home and Apple’s assistant device? It’s possible, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens.