Microsoft quietly kills Nokia McLaren amid major changes

By Dianne Depra, Tech Times | July 20, 9:14 AM

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Once upon a time, Nokia dominated the mobile phone market. With the McLaren out of the picture, is this the beginning of the end for the brand? Or does Microsoft have bigger plans for Nokia?
(Photo : Jorge Barrios)

If you've been anticipating the release of the Nokia McLaren, there's no easy way to say this: you're out of luck. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is bent on cleaning house and the would've-been flagship sporting 3D Touch technology was one of the things taken to the curb.

To say major changes are happening in Microsoft is an understatement. After recently acquiring Nokia, a deal in which 32,000 individuals were absorbed by Microsoft, the company was due for some restructuring and Nadella got on right with it, just a few months after taking over from Steve Balmer as CEO. This is why in areas where Microsoft and Nokia overlapped, as well as those that don't correspond to the agile image of a company that Nadella had in mind, about 18,000 job cuts will be happening until next year, the first 13,000 of which will be sent packing within the next six months.

"It is particularly important to recognize that the role of phones within Microsoft is different than it was within Nokia. Whereas the hardware business of phones within Nokia was an end unto itself, within Microsoft all our devices are intended to embody the finest of Microsoft's digital work and digital life experiences, while accruing value to Microsoft's overall strategy," explained Stephen Elop, Executive Vice President for Microsoft's Devices and Services business unit and former Nokia CEO. It was therefore necessary for the company to come up with a device strategy that would reflect its direction and would fit financial concerns.

And then there's the Nokia McLaren.

Although reports of the 3D Touch smartphone getting cancelled were recent, the decision to end the McLaren's development was finalized weeks before. There are several reasons why the project is being discontinued but mainly cost and that Microsoft was not satisfied with how developers responded to early test builds for the McLaren were the biggest factors.

The McLaren was supposed to be the first Nokia Lumia smartphone to feature Microsoft's 3D Touch technology. It was also slated to be this year's flagship offering from Microsoft so its cancellation leaves the company with a void since no other projects are in development. The 3D Touch technology that would have powered the McLaren, though, is still active so it may still be seen in future devices from Microsoft.

Aside from the Nokia McLaren, the Xbox Entertainment Studios also got cut, just retaining existing projects like the Halo: Nightfall series.

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