Microsoft stops development of Nokia X/ Asha/ S40 platforms; Opera Mini to replace Xpress Browser

Hey Nokia fans! A plethora of disappointing news for you guys – Microsoft has officially confirmed that Nokia X and older feature phone platforms and related services will be closed down in phases over the next 18 months (process to be completed by December 2015). This info has been revealed via a leaked internal email circulated by Jo Harlow. Besides, Microsoft recently signed a license agreement with Opera which allows them to incorporate Opera Mini into firmwares of low-end, Nokia feature phones. Thus Mini will replace Xpress Browser as the default web browser in new S40/Asha phones. Existing phone users will be encouraged to upgrade to Opera Mini as well.

R.I.P Nokia X/Asha/S40/S30

R.I.P Nokia X /Asha/ S40

All these developments translate into –
No new S30/S40/Asha phone will released in the future with immediate effect
No further software updates will be issued to such existing devices
Apps like Nokia (Ovi) Browser, Xpress Browser, MixRadio will not be updated anymore
Opera Mini will be shipped with new mobiles which previously had Nokia Browser/Xpress Browser as the default internet app
Microsoft will continue to provide support for existing S30/S40/Asha phone owners until Dec.2015
All older Nokia platforms (S30/S40/Asha/Nokia OS/Symbian/NokiaX) will be discontinued. Feature phones will be replaced by highly affordable, low-end, WP (Lumia) phones
All development activities for these platforms have been suspended and related developer tools/SDKs will soon be removed from Nokia Developer sites. Jo Harlow, head of the phone business under Microsoft devices said in an internal email accessed by The Verge –

With the clear focus on Windows Phones, all Mobile Phones-related services and enablers are planned to move into maintenance mode, effective immediately. This means there will be no new features or updates to services on any Mobile Phones platform as a result of these plans.
We are committed to supporting our existing customers, and will ensure proper operation during the controlled shutdown of services over the next 18 months. To focus on the growing momentum behind Windows Phone, we plan to immediately begin ramping down developer engagement activities related to Nokia X, Asha and Series 40 apps and shift support to maintenance mode.

Harlow also hinted that Nokia Xpress Browser and MixRadio may be developed into into a separate business in the future. I don’t know what Microsoft was thinking while making such strategic plans. I mean how come anyone can close down a multi-million dollar dollar business in the name of “to focus on a dumb mobile OS which has an uncertain future”. What do you think on this matter?

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2 Responses to Microsoft stops development of Nokia X/ Asha/ S40 platforms; Opera Mini to replace Xpress Browser

  1. Hunky September 5, 2014 at 10:41 AM #

    These are very successful products here in India. The laid employees of Nokia should come together to form a company to buy the rights from MS to continue its development and could have had a very successful business !!

    Will miss the basic Nokia phones which are know for their extreme high network performance and battery backup..

    RIP 🙁

    • Shoaib Siddiqui September 5, 2014 at 11:38 PM #

      Hey Hunky, good to see you here! (I usually follow you at IndiBlogger)
      As for the sad story of Nokia, its employees and loyal fans, the less the better. I am also very disappointed by these developments.

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