Archive for Friday, January 23, 2009

Microsoft cuts 5,000 jobs in first layoffs

January 23, 2009


— Microsoft Corp. will make the first mass layoffs in its 34-year history, cutting 5,000 jobs as demand for personal computers falls and even one of the world’s richest companies gets burned by the recession.

The company announced the cuts Thursday as it reported an 11 percent drop in second-quarter profit, which fell short of Wall Street’s expectations. Microsoft shares plunged more than 11 percent.

The biggest names in the technology sector have been no stranger to layoffs lately. Giants such as chip maker Intel Corp. and even Google Inc. are among the companies that have pulled back on jobs to hunker down in the recession.

Google also reported earnings Thursday and said its quarterly net profit fell 68 percent, its first such drop ever. The results were better than analysts had expected, however.

At Microsoft, the cuts appeared to reflect uncertainty about when times will get better. The company said it could not issue a forecast for earnings and profits for the rest of the year.

The software maker was already facing tough problems, among them its inability to snag a significant share of the lucrative Web search advertising market from leader Google Inc.


Chris Ogle 9 years, 3 months ago

Ya think our economy might be slowing down a bit.

Tom McCune 9 years, 3 months ago

I used to do some consulting work in Redmond. It's a nasty place to work. Very back-stabbing and dysfunctional. They routinely have these big extended meetings with 20 -30 people to review the most ordinary of matters. Everybody just sits around and pontificates and tries to edge out their internal competitors. When you have seen some of that stuff, it's no wonder Vista wound up the way it is. XP was actually fairly good. But they then spent many years to come out with a product that was inferior. Slower and less reliable. They now spend most of their time and effort debasing their products to build-in planned obsolescence so that you have to buy new software to open and use your old data files. The products don't actually do anything new or additional.Nobody goes to work there anymore to do anything creative. It used to be a place where you could get rich quick if you just got in the door at the right time and worked like a dog. Since that is no longer true, lots of people actually want to leave. Google opened a campus down the road just to poach MSFT employees, and they are having quite a bit of success at it.This is a small thing, but MSFT subleased several big buildings from an insurance company named SafeCo, and turned them into the worst office buildings I have ever seen. I have seen lots of neglected office buildings, but MSFT spent big bucks to make these horrible. Corridors 5 feet wide and 400 feet long lined with miserable offices. Then it looks like they smeared every wall surface with mud and turned out most of the lights. Very fetching...A paycheck is a paycheck, but this is not even remotely an innovative, creative, or "up and coming" place to work any more. It isn't even a "middle aged" company more. It is a dinosaur.

Tom McCune 9 years, 3 months ago

Yep. Bill got out while the getting was good. Actually, it was Paul Allen who did the best. He got out years ago but kept all the money. Ballmer is stuck with running the place now...

sarahsmilehawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Sorry to hear about job loss. I think it's interesting that the article doesn't cite bad products or Macintosh's domination lately as part of Microsoft's problem. Windows Vista didn't work well. Zune didn't work well. Yeah, they forced everyone to buy a new version of Office (which DID work well), but it's going to take a little more than that to succeed.

Tom McCune 9 years, 3 months ago

Here's an option for you.... If people are sending you those new-format Word, Excel, or other MS Office files and you have trouble opening them, download Open Office. It's free. It opens and saves in native MSFT format, and it works pretty well.

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