Windows Phone Woes Prompt Microsoft Layoffs

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Microsoft is cutting another 1,850 jobs as the company continues to scale down its smartphone hardware business.

Some 1,350 of those layoffs will affect those working at the old Nokia business in Finland with another 500 happening globally, Microsoft said. The tech giant plans to hand out most of the pink slips by the end of the calendar year and complete this round of layoffs by July 2017.

The news isn't a huge surprise; Microsoft just last week sold off its feature phone business. But it intends to continue developing Windows 10 Mobile and support Lumia phones and devices from partners like Acer, Alcatel, HP, Trinity, and Vaio. In its announcement today, Redmond reiterated that it's not exiting the mobile market altogether.

"We are focusing our phone efforts where we have differentiation — with enterprises that value security, manageability and our Continuum capability, and consumers who value the same," CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. "We will continue to innovate across devices and on our cloud services across all mobile platforms."

As a result of this change, Redmond will take an accounting charge of $950 million, of which $200 million will relate to severance payments, the company said.

This latest round of layoffs comes after Microsoft last year cut 7,800 jobs, most from its phone business.

Meanwhile, new Gartner figures confirm the obvious: Windows Phone is floundering. The platform, already struggling a year ago with a modest 2.5 percent share of the smartphone OS market — fell below 1 percent during the first quarter of 2016.

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