Feeds

Microsoft staff cuts due next month?

Justify-your-job treadmill rolling

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.