Nokia Drops Android Phones, Microsoft Cuts 18,000 Jobs, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, Bing joins Google in offering the “right to be forgotten,” Facebook likes celebrities more than you, Edward Snowden hates Dropbox, sales of the Xbox One double, and Amazon releases the first ad for the Fire Phone.
Nokia Drops Android For Windows Phone
Nokia’s brief foray into the world of Android is over, with the company going all in on Windows Phone. This shouldn’t come as any great surprise, as Nokia is now part of Microsoft, and Microsoft was never going to be willing to sell Android as a legitimate mobile operating system.
Microsoft officially announced this move as a “plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows.” Justifying it by suggesting it “builds on our success in the affordable smartphone space and aligns with our focus on Windows Universal Apps.”
This makes absolute sense for Microsoft, with consumers the real losers. There are, of course, plenty of cheap Android devices available to buy, but the Nokia X devices were very appealing at a low price point. Are they still as appealing running Windows Phone rather than Android?
Microsoft To Cut 18,000 Jobs This Year
Microsoft is cutting 18,000 jobs over the next year, which accounts for around 15 percent of the 127,104-strong workforce. A whopping 12,500 of the jobs will be lost from the Nokia Devices and Services division, meaning Microsoft is halving the number of employees brought to the company by the acquisition of Nokia .
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella describes these job cuts as an effort to “realign our workforce.” Severance pay for those affected is expected to run into billions of dollars. In amongst the business speak and several references to “synergies” comes the admission that “these decisions to change are difficult, but necessary.” Which will be of scant comfort to those being axed.
Bing Joins Google In “Right To Be Forgotten“
I don’t trust you if you use Bing as a search engine
— Gabby (@gabbykaulitz001) July 18, 2014
Bing has followed in Google’s footsteps by offering European users the “right to be forgotten.” Those seeking the removal of search results from Bing are invited to fill in an online form with an exhaustive number of details. Yahoo is reportedly still “developing a solution” to balancing the needs of its users while complying with the law.
Facebook Has An App Just For Celebrities
An app for when you’re scrolling through Facebook aimlessly that would display a pop up message saying “What are you doing with your life?”
— Simon Caine (@thismademecool) July 13, 2014
Facebook has released a new app, but you’re not welcome to use it. Because proles. The app, called Mentions, is only available to people with verified Facebook accounts. Famous people, in other words. Mentions is essentially Twitter, with celebrities posting updates and seeing the stream of replies generated by them. You know what’s better than Facebook doing Twitter? Twitter doing Twitter .
Snowden: Dropbox Is “Hostile To Privacy“
Anybody switch from Dropbox to Spideroak? Thoughts?
— Joe Brown (@joemfbrown) July 17, 2014
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has advised anyone who will listen to stop using Dropbox. He told The Guardian, “Dropbox is a targeted you know wannabe PRISM partner. They just put Condoleezza Rice on their board, who is probably the most anti-privacy official you can imagine … So they’re very hostile to privacy.”
Snowden recommends using Spideroak instead, which uses the “zero knowledge” system segregating the cloud company from the content stored by users. This means that any law enforcement agencies seeking to access that data would have to get the encryption key from the user and not the company. Which is actually rather ingenious.
Xbox One Sales Double, PS4 Still Winning
Microsoft is heralding the recent $100 price cut of the Xbox One as a triumph, with sales of the games console doubling between May and June. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the PlayStation 4 is still selling in greater numbers than the Xbox One, at least in the U.S. Which makes it six months in a row that the PS4 has been the bestselling console.
Amazon Releases First Fire Phone Ad
And finally, Amazon has released the first official advert for its new Fire Phone . However, rather than extol the virtues of the phone itself, the commercial talks up the 12 months of Amazon Prime thrown in for free when you buy the device. Which suggests Amazon realizes the hardware alone isn’t going to sell this puppy.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Are you disappointed that Nokia has abruptly ended its Android experiment? Does Microsoft cutting 18,000 jobs suggest a downward spiral or a new beginning? Will you be buying the new Amazon Fire Phone?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: Bhupinder Nayyar via Flickr