Ars Technica - Analysis: Nadella threatens to consign Microsoft to a future of desktop obscurity -
The prevailing wisdom is that Windows Phone is an unmitigated disaster that has failed globally. Microsoft appears to have responded accordingly, gutting what was left of its phone division with 7,800 layoffs and writing down $7.6 billion of assets acquired in the purchase of Nokia's Devices and Services business.
The timing for this is simply astonishing. For the last couple of years, Microsoft has been selling developers on the notion of "Universal Windows Apps;" a common API platform that lets them build apps that with few changes will run effectively on phones, tablets, PCs, Xbox-connected TVs, and eventually the HoloLens.
But that Windows Phone market is built predominantly on the back of cheap devices. Windows Phone has been modestly successful in parts of Europe, for example, and while Microsoft has done little to stimulate this—a proper flagship device and something more than "alpha" quality Cortana would surely have helped, as would making Bing better outside the US and UK—Windows Phone has broken 10 percent in some markets, and it has done so thanks to the range of affordable handsets.
With those going away, thanks to the new "focus," it's not clear how this user base will be retained, much less expanded.
The upshot here is Windows is abandoning it's chance to be a major tech influence again. It may dominate on the desktop for years to come but it will never be a major mobile player, in any market. I shouldn't be surprised I have been saying since he became CEO that Nadella has no vision. That was obvious with his first round of layoffs and the closing of Microsoft R&D in Silicon Valley. I have never seen a company downsize it's way to success. At most they get to the point where the can fight a holding action that they will eventually lose.
Backchannel - How the Tech Press Forces Companies Into a Narrative -
It's not just the tech press, the political press does this too.
Slow day today but hell I am on vacation so I am entitled.