Microsoft has announced plans to "streamline" its smartphone hardware business, and will shed a further 1,850 jobs, the majority at the Microsoft Mobile division in Finland, and face a restructuring charge of approximately $950m.
Some in the industry have speculated that this could see the end of Microsoft's smartphone ambitions.
Microsoft's smartphone business has suffered lately. Figures released earlier this week showed that Windows Phone devices now account for less than one per cent of the smartphone market, leading many to suggest that Microsoft's phone business is essentially dead in the water.
The latest move follows job cuts of up to 7,800 last year, again largely affecting the phone hardware division formed when Microsoft acquired Nokia's handset business in 2013.
Microsoft said in a statement that this will result in the cutting of up to 1,350 jobs at Microsoft Mobile Oy in Finland, as well as up to another 500 globally.
News agency Reuters reported earlier that Microsoft planned to stop designing and manufacturing mobile phones altogether, although this would indicate a dramatic change of direction for the firm, which has until lately pushed 'cloud first, mobile first' as its core strategy built on having versions of Windows 10 able to run across a wide variety of devices.
"We are focusing our phone efforts where we have differentiation - with enterprises that value security, manageability and our Continuum capability, and consumers who value the same. We will continue to innovate across devices and on our cloud services across all mobile platforms," Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said in a statement regarding the latest job cuts.
Speculation still surrounds a potential Surface Phone device that Microsoft is said to be developing to replace its ailing Windows Phones and replicate the success of the Surface tablet systems.
However, the upcoming Atom-based Broxton and Sofia chips that were likely to power such a device were cancelled by Intel at the start of this month, making it unclear whether such a device is still viable.
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