The MixRadio decision isn't too surprising given Microsoft has a substantial investment in its own music service, Xbox Music. Update: A MixRadio spokesperson said MixRadio will be spun out as a separate company, but that the application will continue to be preloaded on Windows Phones and other Windows devices. "We are not closing down or ceasing to develop the service," the spokesperson said. "We are being spun out as a separate company, although we will continue to be preloaded to Microsoft devices."
The Asha and S40 phase-out may catch some by surprise, given Microsoft had been talking up those phones as a possible gateway to get to users in the developing world. Microsoft officials never said if or when they planned to put the Windows Phone operating system on those phones, or whether they planned to use them as a way to expose more users to Microsoft software and services.
Microsoft's new plan going forward with its phones is to focus on both the low and high end of the market with Windows Phones from both Microsoft itself and third-party phone OEMs.
Hanoi, Vietnam is now the new center of Windows Phone production, according to a July 17 e-mail about today's layoffs from Microsoft Executive Vice President Stephen Elop. ("Some production" will continue in Beijing and Dongguan, Elop noted.)
On the engineering side, high-end phone work will be concentrated in Salo, Finland. Tampere, Finland will be the home for "more affordable devices." Engineering work in Oulu, Finland will be ramping down, Elop noted (and was expected earlier this week, following a Finnish daily's report claiming R&D jobs would be lost in Oulu.)
"While we plan to reduce the engineering in Beijing and San Diego, both sites will continue to have supporting roles, including affordable devices in Beijing and supporting specific US requirements in San Diego. Espoo and Lund are planned to continue to be focused on application software development," Elop added.