Slowly, the 'Nokia' brand heads for the door

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Microsoft isn't just gutting Nokia with 12,500 layoffs; it's also taking steps to phase out the Nokia brand name.

As Windows Phone Central points out, a recent update to Nokia's Treasure Tag app removes all mentions of Nokia, except in links to support pages on Microsoft has issued similar updates to Nokia's MixRadio and Care (now Lumia Help+Tips) apps. Other Nokia apps that lack the company's brand name include PhotoBeamerTransfer my DataVideo Tuner and App Social.

Officially, Nokia became known as Microsoft Mobile after its acquisition last April, and all Nokia apps now list Microsoft Mobile as the publisher.

Still, Microsoft seems willing to let the Nokia brand name phase out gently. Several of the company's apps still include Nokia in the title, including Nokia CinemagraphNokia Creative StudioNokia Panorama and Nokia Xpress. And in his latest memo announcing the layoffs, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella refers to the team as "Nokia Devices and Services." Stephen Elop, the former head of Nokia who now runs Microsoft's Devices group, uses the term "Nokia team" in his own memo.

It's worth noting that Nokia still exists as a separate company with the parts that Microsoft didn't acquire, including network technology, mapping and IP licensing. But for Microsoft, perhaps the layoffs and change in focus for Windows Phone will hasten the end of Nokia as a consumer-facing brand. We'll know for sure if Microsoft starts dropping the Nokia name from future Windows Phones.

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