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Microsoft set to axe nearly 2,000 jobs in bid to 'streamline' smartphone biz

Microsoft on Wednesday announced a restructuring of its mobile hardware group that will see as many as 1,850 employees — most of them former Nokia staffers — lose their jobs as the company looks to right the listing smartphone ship.

"We are focusing our phone efforts where we have differentiation — with enterprises that value security, manageability and our Continuum capability, and consumers who value the same," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a release. "We will continue to innovate across devices and on our cloud services across all mobile platforms."

The company says that up to 1,350 positions at its Finnish hardware office will be affected, with another 500 positions on the chopping block around the world.

As a result of the move, Microsoft will book a $950 million restructuring charge. Of that figure, $200 million is reserved for severance packages.

These layoffs continue Microsoft's efforts to wind down its Nokia experiment, for which the firm has taken billions of dollars in losses.

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced the sale of what used to be Nokia's feature phone group to Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn. That $350 million deal includes an "exclusive global license" to build Nokia-branded phones and tablets for the next 10 years.