Microsoft Slashes More Jobs to Focus on Enterprise Services

Less than two years ago, then-new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced an initiative to cut up to 18,000 jobs in an effort to make the business more efficient. So Tuesday’s news that 1,850 jobs – once again primarily connected to the software giant’s acquisition of Nokia’s mobile-phone business in April 2014 – will be slashed shouldn’t come as a huge surprise.

Microsoft's Satya NadellaSpecifically, the Redmond, Washington-based company says it is “streamlining its smartphone hardware business,” and will record an impairment and restructuring charge of $950 million this quarter. (Look for more details during Microsoft’s earnings announcement on July 19.) Approximately $200 million of that restructuring charge will go toward severance payments.

While no one will ever celebrate job cuts, solution providers will be comfortable knowing that Microsoft’s attention continues to home in more closely on what they sell.

“We are focusing our phone efforts where we have differentiation — with enterprises that value security, manageability and our Continuum (the group of features in Windows 10 designed to enable smoother transitions between desktop computers and touchscreen devices) capability, and consumers who value the same,” said Nadella. “We will continue to innovate across devices and on our cloud services across all mobile platforms.”{ad}

The majority of the layoffs – approximately 1,300 – will affect workers at Microsoft Mobile Oy in Finland. Another 500 will be spread around Microsoft offices in various global locations. Last year, the company eliminated nearly 8,000 jobs as part of this effort.

Despite lower prices for many of their smartphones, Nokia and Microsoft have never been able to make significant inroads in the consumer space against Apple and a bevy of Android-producing smartphone juggernauts. Microsoft will, however, continue to support a handful of Nokia Lumia phones and further develop Windows 10 Mobile.

Follow senior online managing editor Craig Galbraith on Twitter.

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