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Cyanogen is reportedly laying off a significant 20% of its workforce

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Open-source OS vendor Cyanogen might have gained immense popularity as a secondary OS option for breathing new life into aged phones. It however, has struggled to come up as a solid alternative to Android, and the struggle is starting to show wearing signs now.

As sources suggest, the Microsoft-backed company is amid a strategy change and is currently in the process of laying off a major chunk of its workforce. The employees were called in for meetings, sometimes in groups and were being told that they were being let go, reports AndroidPolice(AP).

The lay-off allegedly lets go about 30 people out of 136 people currently working at Cyanogen Inc — which is about 20 per cent of the team. According to another source, the systems and QA teams in Palo Alto and Seattle, including smaller offices in Lisbon and India also had to face the wrath and be let go from the open-source community turned startup. Some customer support team members were also reportedly let go.

In addition to this, some top-level executives including Dave Herman have also parted ways from the company.

Recode confirms AP’s reports and adds that the pivot in strategy and lay-off are being conducted on the command of newly hired COO Lior Tal, who joined the company last month from Facebook. We’ve also contacted Cyanogen for a word on the lay-offs and details on the strategy change.

Sources close to the development report that the company is now planning to undergo a major strategy shift(much like Microsoft, who had diverted focus to Cloud and Productivity apps), which may include a significant focus on ‘apps’. This could work in synergy with the recent MOD platform launch, which helps OS developers to integrate their apps more seamlessly with the OS. In a way this platform could help provide intelligent, contextually-aware experiences integrated directly into the operating system.

Ever since the release of Android 2.3, Cyanogen’s open-source flashable ROMs offered features and options not found in the official firmware distributed by mobile device vendors. The company then raised a ton of money to be able to make their OS directly available on OEM-manufactured phones, but it too somehow didn’t work out in Cyanogen’s favor. The company was only able to attract Chinese OnePlus, Indian Micromax and UK-based WileyFox, but the sales were pretty dismal.


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