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Microsoft is sacking 7,800 employees to “restructure” smartphone business

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Satya Nadella
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft has announced a huge restructuring of its mobile phone business, which will result in thousands of its staff being laid off.

The company is also writing off $7.6 billion related to “the acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services” business, a deal that was completed only last year.

The news comes just weeks after the announcement that former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop would be leaving Microsoft and his role as Executive VP of Devices & Services at the company.

We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem, including our first-party device family,” explains Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in an email sent to employees today.

He continues: “In the near-term, we’ll run a more effective and focused phone portfolio while retaining capability for long-term reinvention in mobility.”

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Nadella doesn’t detail what he means by a “more effective and focus phone portfolio”, but it’s likely we’ll see a cut back to the number of Lumia phones releasing in the future.

It’s already been widely rumoured that Microsoft is working on two high-end smartphones – codenamed Cityman and Talkman respectively.

The handsets will likely launch alongside, or following, Microsoft’s Windows 10 for Mobile debut, which is scheduled for later this year.

The global redundancy of 7,800 employees is due to be “substantially complete” by the end of the calendar year, and “fully completed” by the end of Microsoft’s fiscal year.

It’s not all grim at Microsoft HQ however; the Microsoft Surface 3 is pretty great, and we explain why in the following video:

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