The pruning of staff strength in the company came 24 hours after Miccrosoft’s latest Windows 10 was made available in Nigeria and 189 other countries.
Although Windows 10 is now available as a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8.1 operating systems, or with new personal computers and tablets, industry experts said it would leave about 15 million Nigerian payments cards prone to hacking.
Although employees at the Nigerian office have kept mute on the matter, sources close to the company said that the downsizing was part of the global decision of Microsoft to streamline its phone division.
Indeed, the sacking was in line with the massive layoff of workers “sweeping through the global offices of Microsoft’s phone division.”
Earlier in June, Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft, had said in a memo to all Nigerian employees that the company needed to make some “tough choices” in areas that were not working.
The memo had stated that 7,800 jobs would be cut from the mobile division working on Windows Phone hardware.
Nadella’s email to the employees read, “We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem, including our first-party device family.
“In the near-term, we’ll run a more effective and focused phone portfolio, while retaining capability for long-term reinvention in mobility.
“Microsoft was committed to our first-party devices, including phones, but needed to focus its phone efforts in the near term.”
He said the company will also write off $7.6bn from the acquisition of Nokia, though it only paid $7.2bn for the company in 2014.
“The future prospects for the phone hardware segment were below original expectations due to the new plans,” Nadella added.
The Microsoft boss said that the news would “surely leave an unclear future for Windows Phone.”
He said the company would run a more effective phone portfolio in the near future, “But that doesn’t exactly throw the company’s weight behind the platform,” he added
He said that the move would not give partners reassurance that the platform was a good choice to build new hardware or apps for the future.
“Microsoft is also pushing ahead to release Lumia flagships this year and is still actively developing Windows 10 mobile,” he added.
By Patrick Aigbokhan