Microsoft Dropping The Nokia Name From Mobile Phones

Outside the incidental appearances in photos, Microsoft’s site is completely devoid of the word “Nokia.”

There’s little doubt that Microsoft is undergoing a major shift since CEO Satya Nadella took the helm from beleaguered ex-CEO Steve Ballmer. Nadella’s now famous “Mobile first, cloud first” strategy is beginning to put pieces in place that analysts believe may aid the languishing Windows brand, in particular the Windows Phone market share, which has been largely stagnant in the U.S. against the already established powerhouses of Android and iPhone.

For those following Microsoft’s mobile strategy, the decision to drop the Nokia moniker doesn’t come as a shock. Microsoft first acquired the Nokia brand back in September 2013 for a whopping $7.3 billion and has always had the intention for the hardware manufacturer to create “Microsoft phones.” Images leaked online earlier this year purportedly show the hardware identification card of a device showing the manufacturer to be “Microsoft Mobile.”

Reports show that the devices won’t take on the Microsoft Mobile name, however. Since Nokia had branded every Windows Phone device under the Lumia line, Microsoft will be keeping the Lumia name. The decision is very logical, as the Lumia name has always been exclusive to Windows Phone and has developed a modicum of brand recognition. Instead, the phones will simply bear the title “Lumia” before their model number.

The change also follows Microsoft’s vision for a unified ecosystem of devices. During the Windows 10 announcement earlier this month, Microsoft described that vision.

“Windows 10 will run across an incredibly broad set of devices — from the Internet of Things, to servers in enterprise datacenters worldwide. Some of these devices have 4 inch screens — some have 80 inch screens — and some don’t have screens at all. Some of these devices you hold in your hand, others are ten feet away. Some of these devices you primarily use touch/pen, others mouse/keyboard, others controller/gesture — and some devices can switch between input types.”

Overall, Microsoft is looking to take a little more control over the mobile presentation of future Lumia products and Nokia’s already high build quality was a natural place to start. Other manufacturers will still be able to build devices for Windows Phone, like HTC and Samsung, but just like the Surface is Microsoft’s flagship line of tablets so too will the Lumia be their flagship line of phones.

So where does this leave Nokia — or whatever they will be doing with Nokia — within the hierarchy of things at Microsoft?

Nokia itself will still exist, albeit just as a mapping and networking technology company. The mobile hardware manufacturing will be done under the Microsoft name as per the terms of the buyout. Chances are Microsoft will not add anything to their name in regards to mobile hardware; i.e. the mobile division will not become Microsoft Mobile, or Microsoft-Nokia. Instead, it appears as though the company will continue the path set out by the other divisions of the company. Their tablet line will continue to be called Surface, their home console line will still be Xbox, and now their line of mobile phones will go by the name Lumia.

What are your thoughts on Microsoft dropping the Nokia name? Where will you be getting your next Lumia? Leave your thoughts in the comment below.

[Image via Microsoft]