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Microsoft set to abandon Nokia's Android based smartphones

Nokia X
Nokia X
Nokia Press Release Kit

Following on the from the announcement that Microsoft will cut 18,000 jobs from the company in a major restructuring effort, news about a potential move away from Nokia’s Android based smartphones has also surfaced. Popular tech blog Engadget noticed that in the email announcing the layoffs that was dated July 17, there is a small blurb about refashioning select Android Nokia devices.

When Nokia decided to dip their toes into Android territory earlier on this year, many eyebrows within Microsoft were raised. Google’s Android is one of the main rivals to Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform and it was quite a shock to see Nokia launch the Nokia X phone, especially after the Redmond, WA based company purchased Nokia for $5 billion.

The Nokia X line of phones has been incredibly popular in emerging markets around the world, and while the devices do indeed run on Google’s Android platform, they look and feel like Microsoft’s Windows Phone software. The version of Android on the Nokia X features a heavily modified version of the Android software, and it does not offer access to the Google Play store, or any other Google service.

The email from Satya Nadella to his staff states that the company will refashion select Nokia X designs as Lumia devices that will run Windows Phone 8.1. While the memo only talks about the X series, it is highly unlikely that any other Nokia Android devices will survive seeing as Microsoft wants its own platform to dominate the mobile market.

The Nokia X will live on for just a short while, and if you have already purchased your Nokia X device you have nothing to fear, as Stephen Elop (the former Nokia CEO) has stated that the company will continue to support the existing range of Nokia X devices for quite some time. If you have been on the fence about buying one of Nokia Android based devices though, now is the time to act as pretty soon the phones will disappear from store shelves around the globe.