Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) employees aren’t the only parts of the Redmond, Washington, tech giant getting axed.
Details buried within Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s memo released on Thursday reveal that Microsoft plans to convert “select” Nokia smartphones running the Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android OS into Lumia Windows Phones.
“We plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows,” Nadella said.
While the memo left the future of Android-based Nokia devices up in air, Microsoft clarified that it doesn’t have plans to make future Nokia devices based on Android, according to Recode.
An email released by Stephen Elop, executive vice president of Microsoft Devices confirms this move:
“We will 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.”
Elop echoed the statements of Nadella, noting that select Nokia X devices would be relegated to lower-cost Lumia devices.
“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,” Elop said. “We expect to make this shift immediately while continuing to sell and support existing Nokia X products.”
The announcement surprised some industry watchers, since Microsoft just unveiled the Nokia X2, a low-end Android-based device, in June.
However, the introduction of the Android-based Nokia X devices may have been the step needed by Microsoft to introduce Android users to the Windows Phone ecosystem, according to some analysts.
“I think [Microsoft is] trying to onboard Android customers into the Windows Phone ecosystem with smaller steps,” Nick Spencer, senior practice director at ABI Research, told International Business Times in a previous interview.