Remember when Microsoft bought Nokia's mobile phone unit for $7.2 billion?
You should, it was less than two years ago.
And remember how Steve Ballmer made it his crusade to go after Apple's share of the mobile phone market and climb back into relevancy?
Well, the deal with Nokia closed after Ballmer had let Microsoft's door hit him where the good lord split him... And you're probably reading this on an iPhone.
So how bad is the mobile phone business at Microsoft?
Microsoft said on Wednesday that it would eliminate up to 7,800 jobs, more than 6 percent of its work force, in a major overhaul of its struggling smartphone business.
The company also said it would take a $7.6 billion accounting charge related to its acquisition of Nokia’s handset operations, a clear acknowledgment that Microsoft’s foray into the mobile hardware business had borne little fruit.
Fruit analogies are probably the very last thing that Microsoft wants to think about when it comes to smart phones. While Microsoft watched a bad deal with Nokia turn rotten fast, Apple has been, well... it's been Apple.
Apple Inc. is preparing for a larger initial production run of its next iPhones, betting that even modest hardware changes will entice consumers to upgrade handsets and outstrip demand for the larger-screen phones that it released last year.
Apple is asking suppliers to manufacture between 85 million and 90 million units combined of two new iPhone models with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays by Dec. 31, according to people familiar with the matter. The screen sizes are the same as in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
By comparison, Apple last year ordered a then-record initial production run of 70 million to 80 million for its first larger-screen iPhones.
So after playing the Washington Generals of mobile devices for a few months, Ballmer's replacement, Satya Nadella, got tired of getting his ass kicked and took a real hit on the whole mobile phone biz.
Nadella is clearly giving up on smart phones, but he used a bouillabaisse of tech corporate bullsh*t to kinda-sorta admit it.
“I am committed to our first-party devices, including phones,” Mr. Nadella said in an email to Microsoft employees. “However, we need to focus our phone efforts in the near term while driving reinvention.”
It objectively sucks to lay off almost 8,000 people, and Nadella has got to be poking some new holes in his well-worn Steve Ballmer voodoo doll, but the decisive move to cut off a gangrenous limb deserves some kudos.
Now somebody get the man an iPad so he can read this.