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Microsoft axes Nokia X Android project, cuts 18,000 jobs

Ding dong, the Nokia X is dead. In a move the surprised absolutely no one, but disappointed almost everyone, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that the Nokia X smartphone line will no longer run Android OS. Microsoft will gradually convert all of its X devices to Windows Phone and manufacturer nary an Android device more. This announcement comes right after the company announced plans to cut 18,000 jobs.

The first smartphone in the Nokia X line debuted right before Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s devices and services division was finalized. At the time, Android fans were excited about the device, even though they were fully aware that Microsoft would probably axe the project in the immediate future.

The first Nokia X was a low budget affair with heavy nods to Microsoft layered on top of Android, but it represented a world of possibilities. Some Android fans really like the Nokia Lumia’s design aesthetic and were excited to see one running a version of Android.

Then, the purchase went through and Microsoft got its grubby hands all over Nokia’s Lumia business. Months later when rumors of yet another Android-based Nokia X smartphone surfaced, there was widespread confusion. After all, why on Earth would Microsoft make an Android device?

The Nokia X2 continued in the same vein as the first X handset, but with slightly better specs. Some expressed tentative hope that Microsoft would keep the Android project going, so as to sell budget smartphones. That dream is dead.

“We plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows,” Nadella said in a blog post. “This builds on our success in the affordable smartphone space and aligns with our focus on Windows Universal Apps.”

It’s unclear which Nokia X devices will convert to Windows Phone, but if only one of them does, it will probably be the newer X2. As for Microsoft’s Android plans, it looks like they’re off the roadmap for good.

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Malarie Gokey
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Mobile Editor, Malarie runs the Mobile and Wearables sections, which cover smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and…
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