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Microsoft should stick to Lumia phones for at least two more years, sources say

Despite another massive round of mobile-related layoffs, a walloping write-down and reorganization of its product roster, Microsoft can’t afford to abandon the smartphone ship just yet, according to Bloomberg.

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Rumors are swirling about the next step in Redmond’s Lumia brand transformation, as roughly 80 percent of the defunct Nokia’s employees have been dismissed since the two companies united. Not to mention how few new Windows Phones debuted recently, and how archaic the last flagship family member now feels.

Of course, everybody figured the fall rollout of Windows 10 Mobile would breathe fresh life into the dying platform, but what if Satya Nadella & co. are actually contemplating leaving the handheld landscape altogether? Or perhaps taking their business elsewhere, which Nokia timidly attempted in its eleventh hour.

The former is a theory analyzed in a July 9 Bloomberg Business feature, and while the financial publication’s writers and several analysts conclude Microsoft would be foolish to consider a move away from the future of tech, the fallback might be inevitable if WP’s share drops to zero.

Microsoft Lumia 535

Apparently, that’s a real, conceivable prospect, and a market researcher for IDC says the current 3 percent slice of the pie could evaporate within a year. “The curtains are being drawn” he adds, and a chief analyst at Jackdaw Research agrees Lumia devices and the Windows Phone ecosystem as a whole may perish before long.

For the time being, Redmond’s big kahunas insist they’ll seek mainstream popularity in three different segments, with Lumia 520-type affordability champions, business-centric gadgets and one or two consumer-oriented high-enders a year.

No official word on how long they plan on keeping up the strategy, but “a person familiar with Nadella’s plans who asked not to be named” claims “the company expects to make its own phones for at least the next two years.” Should be enough to conclusively tell if Android and iOS can be contended with, right?

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