Microsoft is being criticized by Finland's government for failing to follow through on promises made to sustain the country's economic growth in the fields of technological research and innovation.
Microsoft announced earlier this week it would lay off 1,850 people in its handset division, with 1,350 of them, or 73%, based in Finland. From Reuters (via The New York Times):
Microsoft said it would continue to develop the Windows 10 platform and support its Lumia smartphones, but gave no comment on whether it would develop new Windows phones.
Initially, along with promises to grow the former Nokia's smartphone division, Microsoft said it would build a data center in the country, something that has proven lucrative in other regions, including the U.S. and Canada.
Reuters notes that the consistent pace of layoffs at the former Nokia, with no jobs to replace them, has contributed to an economic downturn in the country, which used to be at the forefront of smartphone research:
The decline of Nokia's former phone business and the lack of substitute jobs is the main reason for Finland's current economic stagnation.
The news comes days after Microsoft announced it was selling its feature phone business to Foxconn, while today's Nokia, which has evolved into primarily a telecom hardware provider, has plans to re-enter the smartphone market.