Feeds

Microsoft staff cuts due next month?

Justify-your-job treadmill rolling

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Microsoft is rumored to be preparing for redundancies, with staff expected to be cut on January 15.

MiniMicrosoft, a blog dedicated to watching the company, has reported snippets of reports talking of internal reorganizations amid budget cuts and staff interviewing for their jobs in the server and tools business and in the online services group.

The long-running blog, by an anonymous Microsoft employee, said staff are being been called into "meetings and interrogations about the work they are doing", set impossible coding tasks and asked to account for their work by the hour.

The blog said one 120-person organization in the server and tools business has been broken up for lack of budget while 70 people in online services and the SQL Server business - which is part of server and tools - have been given six weeks to find alternative employment within the company.

According to the blog, Microsoft's Live Meeting "is one of the worst places to be right now" and in its "death throws". Live Meeting is the online conference service.

A Microsoft spokesperson told The Reg it does not comment on "rumors and speculation".

Rumors of layoffs are on the "financial grapevine" and - if they come off - would come exactly one week before Microsoft announces its second-quarter results to Wall St.

That quarter spans the normally lucrative Holiday shopping period, when consumers usually snap up PCs.

This year, that period is likely to make for the opposite of good reading. With the US in recession, the UK about to hit recession, and employers in both countries announcing massive layoffs consumer spending is down. That's impacting sales. Retailers, meanwhile, are discounting heavily - impacting profits.

Any cuts - thought to be Microsoft's first in its 30-year history - would follow a hiring freeze and come after years of massive expansion, to try and grow a successful online services business. Head count has grown 28 per cent to 91,000 in just two years as it has hired individuals and bought companies like online ads shop aQuantive - Microsoft's biggest acquisition at nearly $6bn. The payroll has expanded by 49 per cent since 2005, with increases across R&D, sales, marketing, and support.

If true, it seems like the cuts are in the lighter, services end of the company's business spectrum and would be in keeping with expectations.

The online services group is home to search and advertising, which have consistently failed to make a profit despite billions of dollars in investment being pumped in. Microsoft kicked off December by announcing Yahoo!'s former president of search and advertising technology Qi Lu was joining to run the online services group. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Ex–Apple CEO John Sculley: Ousting Steve Jobs 'was a mistake'
Twenty-nine years later, post-Pepsi exec has flat-forehead moment
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.