Microsoft is gutting its Windows Phone hardware business

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Remember that time Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer openly laughed at the iPhone? Well, it turns out the phone business isn’t so easy after all, because for the second year in a row Microsoft has announced it’s laying off large numbers of people — this time mainly involved with Windows Phone hardware.

Despite cutting a total of 7,800 jobs, however, Microsoft insists it’s not throwing in the towel on its Windows Phone division, and still plans to push forward with Windows 10 Mobile and launch new Lumia flagship devices later in 2015.

Diehard Microsoft fans abandon Windows Phone for iPhone

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Leaked promotional shot for the canned McLaren phone, Microsoft's flagship Lumina that was supposed to come out in time for the holidays. Photo: Baidu
Leaked promotional shot for the canned McLaren phone, Microsoft's flagship Lumia that was supposed to come out in time for the holidays. Photo: Baidu

If you needed any more confirmation that Windows Phone is dead in the water, two of its most high profile supporters have abandoned it for the iPhone.

Veteran Microsoft journalists Ed Bott and Tom Warren both published essays this week in which they criticized Windows Phone for its shortcomings and announced that they’ve stopped using Windows Phones personally. Citing a lack of carrier and third-party app support, both agreed that Windows Phone has missed its shot at being a real competitor in the smartphone market.

Microsoft is weeks away from launching its own smartwatch

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Having previously taken a crack at the smartwatch market with its now-discontinued SPOT technology, Microsoft is looking to get back into the wearables space according to a report from Forbes, citing anonymous sources.

The watch will apparently be launched in the next few weeks and will work across a variety of platforms, which makes perfect sense since Windows Phone is a distant third compared to Android and iPhone handsets.

Its timing is an effort to capture the potentially-lucrative holiday market.

Not even Cortana wants to use Windows Phone

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Cortana may be working for Microsoft, but apparently her free time belongs to Apple. (Picture: @supertino)

Microsoft may enjoy bragging about the perceived superiority of its Windows Phone virtual assistant Cortana over Apple’s Siri, but the actress who voices Cortana apparently isn’t so convinced.

In a recent tweet, actress Jen Taylor (@jentaylortown) tweeted the message “Oh my geez Seattle is beautiful” via iOS, suggesting that while Microsoft may be helping bring in the paychecks, that money is going on Apple products.

Microsoft wants to lock down its app store, iOS-style

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Microsoft wants to apply some Apple-style stringency to clean up its App Store.

Apple snaps up Nokia PureView camera engineer

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Nokia’s incredible PureView camera technology is one of the reasons why so many Android users were desperate to see the Finnish firm ditch Windows Phone and bring Google’s platform to its flagship smartphones instead — and you could soon see the same technology in future iPhones.

Apple has used Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Nokia’s handset business as an opportunity to poach executives who are seeking new challenges, and the Cupertino company has just hired Lumia engineer and PureView camera expert Ari Partinen.