It may be too soon to know how the new Corp. CEO Satya Nadella will perform in the new position, or how the company will fare in the future, however, we have already seen fireworks from the new CEO. In the meantime, former CEO Steve Ballmer is having fun at the Los Angeles Clippers. There have been a few decisions from Mr. Nadella that sparkled a few discussions. Let’s take a look at the three, biggest announcements made.
1. Nokia X – Casualty / Nokia Lumia McLaren – Coincidental Cancellation
Five days ago, Nadella made the most controversial announcement. It is probably the biggest tech layoff of 2014. Apparently, 18.000 employees will be cut from the herd. This includes 12.500 Nokia Devices employees and 6.500 Microsoft specialists. According to the new CEO, this decision will help Microsoft become more agile.
For the Nokia Devices team, the cuts seem organic, especially after the fading Asha feature phone business. Also, the Nokia X and Nokia X2 were bizarre and clumsy at best. Reports also say that the McLaren, Microsoft’s multi-carrier fall flagship, will be cancelled altogether. This isn’t even happening because of the layoffs, but because Microsoft is not pleased with the developer’s response on the UI. This news was extremely disappointing for tech enthusiasts, especially since the phone was rumored to be the most compelling Windows Phone.
2. The Death of Xbox Entertainment Studios
Another difficult announcement was made this week: 200 employees from the Xbox Entertainment Unit would be sacked. This initiative was never very successful. It was launched in 2012 and produced some content for Xbox Live subscribers. Nevertheless, everything seemed random, disparate, and scattered. Former CEO,
[Our] sources paint a picture of a disorganized studio that struggled to close deals and lacked a fully fleshed-out business model.
Mr. Ballmer tried to refocus the vision of the team, and Satya Nadella seemed to entertain the idea of the Xbox Entertainment’s Studio New look. However, after the launch of “Every Street United” – a reality soccer television series – he emptied the department of most employees. Only Halo: Nightfall, Every Street United and Halo: The Television Series will continue production.
3. We Might Still See the 3D Touch Product
The best part about the McLaren phone was the fact that it would boast 3D Touch/gesture. Although it has been cancelled, there is still hope for the technology. It might be put into a 2014 device after all. The other device is rumored to be the Lumia 1530 phablet. Initially, there was talk of the “Goldfinger” project, and the McLaren ones (they would have become the two Windows phones with 3D touch/gesture. There is still hope that one of these will emerge by the end of the year, despite McLaren’s cancellation. Sadly, the odds of this happening have decreased significantly.