Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb seemed relieved on Thursday when Microsoft announced that it will maitain the research and development centers in Finland's Salo and Tampere, despite the planned shutdown of a third operation in Oulu.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said on Thursday that the company will axe 18,000 jobs globally over the next year but did not specify the countries to be affected.
Among the cutback worldwide, some 12,500 are employees that joined Microsoft as part of the takeover of Nokia mobile phones.
In a letter addressed to the employees, former Nokia CEO and current Executive Vice President of Microsoft's Devices & Services business unit Stephen Elop said the phone engineering efforts are expected to be concentrated in Salo and Tampere, central southern Finland.
"We plan to develop the supporting technologies in both locations," he said.
Immediately after the announcement, Stubb said it is a positive sign to keep the two Finnish R&D centers, the Finnish newspaper Helsinki Sanomat reported.
The Salo R&D center will be kept for development of future, high-end Lumia products, while Tampere will be the base for research in more affordable devices, according to Elop.
However, the engineering work in Oulu, northern Finland will be shut down. The Oulu centre has been dealing with solutions for the low end phones.
It is estimated that Microsoft cutback of staff in Finland will amount to 1,100 employees, and half of them are currently working in Oulu.