Nokia to close Seattle area office

The handset maker plans to shut down the office that developed online sharing services

After acquiring online content sharing service Twango in 2007 and building a new office around the group of developers that worked there, Nokia is now planning to close the suburban Seattle office.

The company is working on transitioning roles and work out of that office to others nearby and that process will "eventually" lead to the closure of the Kirkland, Washington, office, said Laurie Armstrong, a Nokia spokeswoman, confirming a story on Seattle blog Techflash.

The group was headed by Serena Glover, who had founded Twango and ran it from the basement of her house before Nokia acquired it.

Glover left the company a while ago, said Armstrong.

Just last year Nokia was promoting the group, whose mission was to help develop the company's online information sharing services, Ovi Share.

While Armstrong did not say how many people would be affected by the changes, in an interview last year Glover said that a new office building the group planned to move into would hold 125 people and include a sophisticated lab space.

Armstrong said the moves are part of a recently announced plan to focus the strategy of the company's services unit.

That focusing comes with the elimination of 450 jobs worldwide.

Nokia has aggressively been developing new kinds of mobile services, sometimes in competition with its operator partners.

But the economic downturn has caused problems for the number one phone maker, as phone sales across the world drop and as competition from new entrants like Apple and Google heats up.

This year the company has laid off more than 2,000 people.

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