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Microsoft Businesses

Massive Job Cuts Are Reportedly Coming For Microsoft Employees 300

mrspoonsi (2955715) writes with news that Microsoft is reportedly planning a major staff reduction that would top Steve Ballmer's record 5,800-head layoff in 2009. From the article: The reductions — which may be unveiled as soon as this week — will probably be in areas such as Nokia and divisions of Microsoft that overlap with that business, as well as marketing and engineering, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public.
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Massive Job Cuts Are Reportedly Coming For Microsoft Employees

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  • by lord_mike ( 567148 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @09:29AM (#47456295)

    And yet, they are still making gobs of money. In fact, they are more profitable than ever. Moves like this don't really help anything.. not even the bottom line, since the massive cuts crush morale and limit the ability of the company to innovate to keep ahead of the competition.

  • Not Surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @09:31AM (#47456323)

    Not surprising at all. When a company buys another company, there's going to be a lot of jobs that are duplicated with the efforts of the buyer. Sure, there's an increased workload but nowhere near enough to justify continuing to pay people when you already have people able to do the job. And, when you have two people able to do one job, one of whom works for you and one of whom works for that other company that you just bought, the vast majority of time it's the outside who is let go. Sad reality of consolidation of companies but it isn't surprising at all.

    In other words, if your company is ever bought out, you need to ask yourself if there's already someone at the buyer who's able to do your job. If the answer is "yes", you need to start polishing off your resume and getting in touch with head hunters because there's a high likelihood of you being out of work soon.

  • by lord_mike ( 567148 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @09:32AM (#47456335)

    So they get rid of their most successful consumer product.... the thing that puts the word "Microsoft" in people's houses? That makes sense--typical MBA driven, stupid, short sighted decision that would be so Microsoft. I'd love for Google to buy Xbox. They would do some pretty cool things with that. Microsoft would never sell to them. Samsung, maybe? They'd love to get a bigger piece of the living room, and they might do some cool things with it!

  • by Virtucon ( 127420 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @09:40AM (#47456415)

    Yeah it doesn't make sense but the TFA says the Nokia handset folks but I'd have to think about the memo with the buzzword generator on at 11 it'll be across the board to wake up the troops. Sure, it'll crush morale and it'll negatively effect the processes that are in place but unfortunately it seems more and more that CEOs want to cut themselves to eek out as much profit as possible. Forget new products, innovation is something they'll buy and integrate.

  • H1B (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Major Blud ( 789630 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @09:41AM (#47456433) Homepage

    How much you wanna bet that they continue to ask for H1B candidates after the next round of layoffs?

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @09:48AM (#47456513)

    Fire people in order of how badly they need to be fired, for example.

    Over an extended period of time? That's the worst thing you can do for morale. For sure fire the worst people, but you have to do it quickly and get it over with. Otherwise the rest feel that they have the sword of damocles continually hanging over them.

  • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @09:53AM (#47456567) Journal

    To be honest, this is Nokia's own doing. Hiring MS drone to take down the enterprise was pretty stupid. It was the least expensive option they had. It would have been better to pick one of the three lanes they had, and stuck with it. They went a fifth lane when that wasn't really a good option (fourth lane being Android). Even Microsoft is realizing that Windows Mobile / Phone / Whatever is not going to win in the market.

    The result is typical short sighted vision of CxOs. But, I bet it looked good on paper, and instead of listening to the asshole who is usually right, they listened to the nice guy who lies.

  • by lord_mike ( 567148 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @10:02AM (#47456643)

    They got the word Microsoft into millions of home and unlike with their home PC, made it into a positive experience. Any money that might have been lost was made up for by the marketing gains. When people think XBox, they think Microsoft and successful product--two words that don't usually go together. That's worth any price Microsoft may have paid for the experience. Considering how much Xbox charges you for everything and everything, it certainly takes an extraordinary level of incompetence to lose money on something like that.

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @10:04AM (#47456683)

    it's about time that any one useing any h1b's must lay them off first.

    What's the betting that the layoffs will be followed by lobbying for more h1bs because of the shortage of skilled staff.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @10:22AM (#47456839)

    We already know how layoffs affect stock price, short term it always goes up.

    Long term? Depends on how bloated the company was. If it's critical people gone (and it usually is) then MS is continuing their long, slow slide into the toilet.

    I suspect Windows 7 was not only the best OS they've released to date, but their best ever. The mess that is 8 showcases exactly how incompetent their software engineers and UI designers really are. Taking a concept from something you're absolutely terrible at (mobile devices) and shoehorning it onto something you're only bad at (desktop UI design) is a losing strategy.

    For the future, their only hope is to pick a UNIX to base their OS on, develop a reasonable UI desktop concept and go from there. The Registry is a nasty hack that's stuck around for far too long, and basing the underlying OS on VMS like they did was a horrible decision when they made it and is haunting them today. Trying to force everyone to fullscreen apps was unbelievably stupid, fullscreen is great for games, and somewhat functional for people who spend all day in one app, but almost everyone works in multiple apps these days, and fullscreen destroys drag-and-drop, which is still the easiest and most sane way to get data easily from one app to another.

    Apple knew when it was time to give up on their internal efforts and move to UNIX. MS has yet to do so, and if they don't figure it out soon enough it WILL eventually be fatal for them.

    If MS continues down their current path, their only hope is that everyone else will keep fucking up badly too. (I'm looking at you, Canonical. You too, Gnome. And don't get smug, Apple, your latest UI is butt-ugly, and has some serious usability issues.)

  • Windows 8 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xdor ( 1218206 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @10:36AM (#47456971)

    Blame Julie Larson-Green.

    She's responsible for this and the awful Office ribbon: perfect examples of graphic design stomping all over useability

    Why she's still around: I think this is a case of people being swayed by her personal "charisma" and not facing the fact that Windows 8 "metro" is a gimmicky circus act that literally gets in the way of using Windows. Just terrible!

  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @10:52AM (#47457121)

    Only if you keep it a big secret why the people were fired.

    Explaining why someone was let go is a great way to get yourself sued if you aren't super careful. Particularly if the person terminated is a member of a protected group like a minority. Terminating employees is (almost) never good for morale but if you have to let a lot of them go then you want to do it all at once, explain in general terms the business reason why but no specifics about a particular person and explain why you will not have to let anyone else go after this. I've seen first hand what happens to companies that try the slow band-aid removal method and the results are not pretty.

    If they were fired for an actual business reason, that reason should not need to be kept a secret.

    The reasons usually aren't a secret (office gossip might be the only thing that travels faster than light) but unless it is something like "we are getting out of this line of business" you have to be VERY careful about what you say. Any competent HR pro will tell you that terminating employees can be something of a legal minefield if you don't do it right. This includes employees that were terminated For Cause. Some of this caution is unfortunately absurd but it is equally necessary.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @11:08AM (#47457269)

    IBM did this repeatedly, and is still doing it, as large corporations regularly have to sift their work force and reset priorities, UNLESS they are consistently evaluating their strategies, have truly strategic planning that looks beyond the horizon, and work from a position of true knowledge of their business and performance. Microsoft is regularly accused of failed strategy and poor performance. And they can certainly be accused of being too big to be well managed, especially in the eyes of the minions who live with the decisions.

    In the early '90s, when IBM nearly burned down, fell over, and sank into the swamp, Lou Gerstner came in as a new CEO, and also oversaw massive layoffs, which helped it get back on track. However, a lot of people he let go were top executives, who were "yes men" to the old CEO, John Akers.

    It would do Microsoft a world of good if it got rid of their Ballmer retinue who are still holding key positions in Microsoft. Just letting go a bunch of minions is not going to cut at the root of the problems at Microsoft.

  • Re:Chain effect (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @12:21PM (#47457965)

    They still love big layoffs it happens all the time.

    It's a symptom of a seriously broken system.

    Business and the financial industry are now woven together in an incestuous mess and the net result is that the main business of business is not to make products or sell services, but to game and appease the financial services industry.

    Executive compensation is, effectively, not tied to making a better company. There is no incentive to do anything other than cheat.

    Massage some numbers, fire a few thousand workers, set up a few shell corporations and offload your debt, close stores and sell off property. Bullshit and make a few metrics look good until the company starts tanking. Then jump ship and switch jobs with another executive to start all over again.

    Repeat until a major financial crisis happens and try to dodge going to jail - Ooops, except we've done away with that part. Now you don't have to worry about going to jail for white collar crime.

    We are so fucked.

  • Re:Good (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @02:24PM (#47459303)

    Stack ranking is a scam and has proven to be bad for companies, especially now that employees are wise to it and game the system. The worst part is a company can throw away good employees simply because somebody has to go.

"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva