Microsoft anuncia despidos y un nuevo enfoque en su división móvil

Microsoft anuncia despidos y un nuevo enfoque en su división móvil
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Las "decisiones difíciles" de Satya Nadella siguen en marcha. A las ya anunciadas externalizaciones de parte de sus negocios de publicidad y mapas, hay que sumarle ahora una completa reestructuración de su área de teléfonos móviles (la que ahora forma parte de la división Windows), la cual incluye el despido de 7.800 personas que trabajaban en esa área.

Además, la empresa descontará de activos unos 7.600 millones de dólares ligados a la adquisición de Nokia. Esta medida ya se había anunciado hace unos meses, pero sin especificar el monto del descuento. En ese entonces se especulaba que este ascendería "solo" a los 5.000 millones de dólares, pero con la nueva cifra se está llevando a pérdida casi la totalidad de lo pagado por los dispositivos y servicios de Nokia.

Cambios en la línea de teléfonos Lumia

Tal vez el anuncio que más interesa a los usuarios de Windows es el cambio de enfoque en la línea de teléfonos fabricados por Microsoft. Satya Nadella promete que la compañía seguirá produciendo dispositivos propios, pero que abandonará la idea de que estos generen beneficios por sí mismos (algo que claramente no está sucediendo).

En el futuro cercano, los teléfonos Lumia tendrán el mismo rol que Surface: potenciar un ecosistema con múltiples fabricantes, en el cual Microsoft simplemente fije el estándar de calidad con dispositivos de referencia. Además, los teléfonos fabricados por Redmond estarán enfocados en 3 segmentos: clientes corporativos (empresas), teléfonos baratos para mercados emergentes, y "flagships" para los "fans de Windows".

A continuación les dejamos una transcripción completa de la carta en la que Satya Nadella realiza estos anuncios.


Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared with you our mission, strategy, structure and culture. Today, I want to discuss our plans to focus our talent and investments in areas where we have differentiation and potential for growth, as well as how we’ll partner to drive better scale and results. In all we do, we will take a long-term view and build deep technical capability that allows us to innovate in the future.

With that context, I want to update you on decisions impacting our phone business and share more on last week’s mapping and display advertising announcements.

We anticipate that these changes, in addition to other headcount alignment changes, will result in the reduction of up to 7,800 positions globally, primarily in our phone business. We expect that the reductions will take place over the next several months.

I don’t take changes in plans like these lightly, given that they affect the lives of people who have made an impact at Microsoft. We are deeply committed to helping our team members through these transitions.

Phones. Today, we announced a fundamental restructuring of our phone business. As a result, the company will take an impairment charge of approximately $7.6 billion related to assets associated with the acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services business in addition to a restructuring charge of approximately $750 million to $850 million.

I am committed to our first-party devices including phones. However, we need to focus our phone efforts in the near term while driving reinvention. We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem that includes our first-party device family.

In the near term, we will run a more effective phone portfolio, with better products and speed to market given the recently formed Windows and Devices Group. We plan to narrow our focus to three customer segments where we can make unique contributions and where we can differentiate through the combination of our hardware and software. We’ll bring business customers the best management, security and productivity experiences they need; value phone buyers the communications services they want; and Windows fans the flagship devices they’ll love.

In the longer term, Microsoft devices will spark innovation, create new categories and generate opportunity for the Windows ecosystem more broadly. Our reinvention will be centered on creating mobility of experiences across the entire device family including phones.

Mapping. Last week, we announced changes to our mapping business and transferred some of our imagery acquisition operations to Uber. We will continue to source base mapping data and imagery from partners. This allows us to focus our efforts on delivering great map products such as Bing Maps, Maps app for Windows and our Bing Maps for Enterprise APIs.

Advertising. We also announced our decision to sharpen our focus in advertising platform technology and concentrate on search, while we partner with AOL and AppNexus for display. Bing will now power search and search advertising across the AOL portfolio of sites, in addition to the partnerships we already have with Yahoo!, Amazon and Apple. Concentrating on search will help us further accelerate the progress we’ve been making over the past six years. Last year Bing grew to 20 percent query share in the U.S. while growing our search advertising revenue 28 percent over the past 12 months. We view search technology as core to our efforts spanning, Cortana, Office 365, Windows 10 and Azure services.

I deeply appreciate all of the ideas and hard work of everyone involved in these businesses, and I want to reiterate my commitment to helping each individual impacted.

I know many of you have questions about these changes. I will host an employee Q&A tomorrow to share more, and I hope you can join me.

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