Microsoft to ditch Android from Nokia X phones

Microsoft has pulled the plug on Nokia's short-lived dalliance with Android.

In an email to employees, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said the company would be switching some of its Nokia X devices to its own Windows Phone operating system.

The email also detailed the biggest cull of jobs from the firm in its history with the loss of 18,000 jobs across the board. Around 12,500 would be from its recently acquired Nokia Devices division.

Nadella said the Nokia Devices and Services teams would be integrated into Microsoft.

"We will realise the synergies to which we committed when we announced the acquisition last September," said Nadella. "The first-party phone portfolio will align to Microsoft's strategic direction. To win in the higher price tiers, we will focus on breakthrough innovation that expresses and enlivens Microsoft's digital work and digital life experiences."

He added the firm would "shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows".

"This builds on our success in the affordable smartphone space and aligns with our focus on Windows Universal Apps."

In a memo to staff, Stephen Elop, executive vice president of Microsoft's devices unit, echoed Nadella sentiments and saidMicrosoft would now 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," he said.

"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. We expect to make this shift immediately while continuing to sell and support existing Nokia X products."

The move to kill Android-based Nokia phones echoes Microsoft's moves to ditch the Kin phone in 2010.

Only last month, Microsoft unveiled its second generation Android phone Nokia X2.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.