Microsoft Lumia phones are DEAD (Satya said stop, but Nokia says go)

Did Nadella just kill the Lumia business? Is it KIN all over again?

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's reorganization of the company is causing some serious head-scratching. Commentators -- including this Humble Blogwatcher -- are reaching the inescapable conclusion that the ex-Nokia Lumia business is dead (or, at least, mortally wounded).

Redmond certainly seems to be sidelining the perpetually loss-making Windows phone devices group. And the departure of two notable scapegoats seems to confirm the view: Yes, Stephen Elop is out, along with one of his trusted lieutenants, Jo Harlow. Do you hear echoes of the KIN débâcle?

But wait, what's this? Nokia's CEO says the Finnish company plans to start making phones again. Curiouser and curiouser... 

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers eulogize Lumia (but not Elop). Not to mention: Star Wars Wars… 

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. [Updated 1.32pm EDT]

Kelly Fiveash goes "BOOM!":

Ex-Nokia chief Stephen Elop is officially out.

Exec veep Terry Myerson will head a new wing...dubbed Windows and Devices Group [which] will bolt together Microsoft's current Operating System Group and MS Devices Group. [The] cull comes just before the end of Microsoft's financial year.

Nadella said..."Stephen and I have agreed that now is the right time for him to retire. [I] look forward to seeing where his next destination will be." Ouch.  MORE

Paul Thurrott pontificates:

Nadella has repeatedly delivered on the change he promised to bring. ... This week, Nadella cleaned house again, consolidating business units and jettisoning a number of high-profile executives. ... In each case, businesses are being merged together under a single leader.

But that means that Stephen Elop, who previously oversaw the now-defunct Microsoft Devices out. ... [It] raises a number of questions, but the most obvious...concerns Windows Phone. With Elop out, one might naturally wonder about the firm’s commitment to...Lumia and perhaps even...Windows 10 Mobile.  MORE

And Alex Wilhelm notes another loss from the Lumia helm:

And thus did Microsoft’s phone chickens come home to roost. ... Elop is out, along with Jo Harlow, who joined Microsoft alongside Elop. The two exits at once are notable not merely Microsoft approaches its phone work...but what it might mean for [its] balance sheet.

In April, Microsoft made a pretty stark comment on the health of its phone group, which is the underpinning of the goodwill that it carries relating to the Nokia purchase. ... It could easily bork the firm’s single-quarter earnings per share, throw its larger phone strategy into doubt and drive developers to rival platforms.

Perhaps not, but [it's] indicative of something negative. ... The massive internal switcheroo combined with the exits [meanas] something is likely afoot.  MORE

Some bloke called Satya Nadella chooses "his" words carefully:

Over the past year, I have said that Microsoft aspires to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. To do this, building the best-in-class productivity services and platforms for the mobile-first, cloud-first world is at the heart of our strategy, with three interconnected and bold ambitions: Reinvent productivity and business processes; Build the intelligent cloud platform; Create more personal computing.

To better align our capabilities and, ultimately, deliver better products and services our customers love at a more rapid pace, I have decided to organize our engineering effort into three groups. ... As a result a few Senior Leadership Team members will leave.  MORE

Meanwhile, Your Humble Blogwatcher translates thuswise:

Let's decode the two key parts of Nadella's missive: 

1. No mention that devices are strategic to Microsoft. This is not a change to Nadella's recent language, but in context it speaks a clear message: Lumia is not a sacred cow.

2. The snarky implication that Microsoft has recently been delivering things that customers don't love, and that it's been delivering too slowly.

3. It's partly Elop's fault.  MORE

Update: Georgina Prodhan tosses this curveball:

Nokia...plans to start designing and licensing handsets 2016 [said] its chief executive.

Nokia sold its phone business to Microsoft in 2014 after years of declining sales. [But] many analysts expect Microsoft to write off all or part of the $7.2 billion it paid [in the] deal that left Microsoft with a money-losing business.  MORE

And Finally...
Star Wars Wars: All 6 Films At Once
[hat tip: Andy Baio]

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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