microsoft-lumiaEnd of an era! The tech giant bought Nokia’s mobile division back in April for $7.2bn along with a 10-year deal to use the Finnish company’s name on smartphones.

Microsoft  now wishes to push its own Lumia brand, the most successful iteration of the company’s Windows Phone OS – rival to Google’s Android …

Microsoft confirmed to tech site The Verge that the phasing out of the Nokia brand would begin in France before spreading to other companies.

The Nokia name will carry on, with the company providing telecoms networks and hardware , not mobiles  and its presence will still be felt on some smartphones thanks to its mapping business and app known as Here.

The company actually began life in the 19 century as a single paper mill in what was then part of the Russian Empire. It grew into an industrial conglomerate with interests in everything from galoshes to gas masks, with the push into electronics only coming in the 1960s.

From the 1980s to 2000s it had a string of mobile hits (including the famous 3310 – one of the best selling mobile devices of all time, with more than 126 million units sold worldwide) but failed to keep on top of its smartphone competitors.

Windows Phone meanwhile continues to struggle against iOS and Android, with global market falling to 2.5 per cent. Microsoft will be hoping that Nokia’s ever-popular range of capable, low-end devices will eventually shuffle users in developing markets onto its OS, but nothing looks like it will shake Android and iOS in the high end. # Business News