Microsoft ditches Nokia X series

Android flirtation comes to an end as Elop focuses on growing Windows Phone

Tags: Mergers and acquisitionsMicrosoft CorporationNokia CorporationUSA
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Microsoft ditches Nokia X series Microsoft will not make any more of the X series.
By  Stephen McBride Published  July 20, 2014

Microsoft Corp this weekend signalled the end to its dalliance with Google's Android operating system by announcing the termination of the Nokia X product line in the midst of the company's most drastic job cuts in its 39-year history.

Microsoft will continue to offer support for the X, XL and X2, but will not be launching any other X products. The X handsets run on a forked version of Android that does not give access to Google Play and requires rooting to support WhatsApp.

The X range launch was puzzling to the industry as it was announced by Nokia five months after Microsoft announced its intended acquisition of the Finnish company's handset business, but well before the transaction closed.  Just as surprising was Microsoft's pledge to retain the product range. Stephen Elop, ex-Nokia CEO and current executive vice president of Redmond's devices unit had made a clear commitment to the range in April and Microsoft even launched a successor to the X, the X2, in June.

"We are committed to continuing our support for feature phones, the Asha family, and the Nokia X family of devices, announced at the Mobile World Congress in February," Elop wrote in April, in a blog post.

Earlier this month, Jon French, recently appointed vice president, Microsoft Devices Middle East, made a similar commitment in an interview with ITP.net. French saw the X series as a migration point for Android fans, offering them a budget Android phone but exposing them to Microsoft services. He had hoped that exposure would encourage those users to eventually switch to Microsoft's flagship Windows Phone-based Lumia series.

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