Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th Jul 2014 17:17 UTC

This news will probably fall through the cracks in most reporting about Microsoft's massive layoffs, but aside from the Nokia X, Microsoft is also killing off Series 40 and Asha.

Nokia might have been famous for its feature phones, but Microsoft is planning to wind that business down over the course of the next 18 months. In an internal memo sent to Microsoft employees, Jo Harlow, who heads up the phone business under Microsoft devices, reveals the focus is very much on Windows Phone. Development and investment for Asha, Series 40, and Nokia X handsets will shift to what is described as "maintenance mode," and services to support existing devices will be shut down over the next 18 months. "This means there will be no new features or updates to services on any mobile phones platform as a result of these plans," says Harlow, in the internal memo seen by The Verge.

The story of Series 40 started in 1999 with the iconic Nokia 7110, and it will now end with the Nokia Asha 210 (I think?), or the Nokia Asha 230 if you consider the Asha Software Platform to be Series 40 (nobody really seems to know for sure just how related the two are). In 2012 Nokia announced it had sold over 1.5 billion Series 40 devices, making it one of the most successful software platforms of all time.

It makes sense for Microsoft to kill these platforms. Windows Phone handles devices with lower specifications relatively well, something which the company will hopefully only improve. It does mean the end of an iconic operating system that is intrinsically tied to Nokia, a company who spread the mobile phone and its infrastructure to all four corners in the world, paving the way for pompous phone upstarts like Apple and Google.

One small tidbit I will always associate with Series 40 and Nokia are the signal reception and battery life bars flanking the sides of the early Series 40 user interface like the pillars of the Parthenon. Beautifully elegant and clever use of the limited screen real estate available at the time.

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RE[2]: Comment by DavidCollins
by japh on Fri 18th Jul 2014 12:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by DavidCollins"
Member since:

The jolla phone isn't really that cheap (especially not with those specs). Where did you get information about jolla focusing on that part of the market?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by DavidCollins
by Morgan on Fri 18th Jul 2014 12:41 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by DavidCollins"
Morgan Member since:

The pilot device isn't cheap, but the OS is designed to run on a wide range of hardware, and can even be installed on any CM10 compatible Android device (for testing purposes at the moment, obviously). I'd be willing to bet that future releases will be able to run on the same low-end hardware that FirefoxOS runs on now.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by DavidCollins
by Kivada on Fri 18th Jul 2014 14:22 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by DavidCollins"
Kivada Member since:

The jolla phone isn't really that cheap (especially not with those specs). Where did you get information about jolla focusing on that part of the market?

Because thats their stated goal right now? Go for the low end in the developing world instead of the futility of going after iOS and Android in the developed world.

The Mozilla Flame developer phone is $170, but as I stated, the cheapest phone is only $25. I'm sure that there will be similarly priced Sailfish phones soon enough for the billions of people on earth whose only piece of modern high technology is a cellphone.

Give them a year or 2 and you'll see bottom end prepaid smartphones starting at $10 that you can pick up at a convenience store like you can/could for feature phones from companies like Net10/Tracphone.

Edited 2014-07-18 14:28 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2