EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Microsoft Layoffs Actually Began Years Ago, More Likely to Come

Posted in Finance, Microsoft at 4:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Far from invincible

AN exceptional number of people have searched the Web for “Microsoft layoffs” and arrived here this month, so we decided to share more information, some of which is historical. It’s likely that Microsoft employees are concerned knowing that their company is nearing debt, so they google for answers (yes, Microsoft employees favour Google).

There is no lack of substance to these speculation and rumours. It was less than a month ago that this post, for instance, cropped up.

Major Layoffs Coming; Microsoft Layoffs?

There are rumors swirling around many cities that major layoffs are coming. A few friends in the Seattle area have told me that there are rampant rumors about an impending Microsoft layoff. Would not surprise me at all. While we do not have any verifiable facts on whether Microsoft is really going to layoff or not, it still gives us some information. It shows just how nervous the consumer aka the worker is about the economy and their job.

As some obligatory background, Microsoft does not necessarily lie, but it shrewdly avoids saying the truth. It’s being systematically selective. Looking at the Microsoft evangelism [PDF] leaked documents (court exhibits), you find on page 125:

“Channel of Information”
“On-line Forums”

[1] “Monitor the relevant Usenet groups at all times”
[2] “Write well”
[3] “Be exceedingly formal and polite”
[3a] “- It is very easy to give offense”
[3b] “- Always assume that you are wrong; ask others to explain it to you”
[3c] “- Developers are impressed by clear, precise, polite communication”
[4] “Don’t sound like a prig”

The slide on page 45 says:

“/Mopping up/. During the mopping-up phase, ensure that the
enemy technology is routed. Use the press, the Internet, etc. to
heighten the impression that the enemy is desperate, demoralized,
defeated, deceased.”

The text in page 55 reads:

“/11: Mopping up/”

“Mopping Up can be a lot of fun. In the Mopping Up phase,
Evangelism’s goal is to put the final nail into the competing
technology’s coffin, and bury it in the burning depths of the
earth. Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes
associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa
Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via
the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. make the complete
failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of
the computer industry. We want to place selection pressure on
the companies and individuals that show a genetic weakness for
competitor’s technologies, to make the industry increasingly
resistant to such unhealthy strains, over time.”

Most importantly, the slide on page 43 talks about truths and lies:

“All is not Fair”

“o We are under close scrutiny”
” – Any unethical acts WILL BE uncovered”
“o Besides – we’re the good guys!”
“o Simple rule to live by: _Never Lie_”
” – Tell the truth, and nothing but the truth”
” – Be selective in which truths you emphasize”
” – Let the competition fill in the gaps”

“Let the competition fill in the gaps,” eh? Let’s do.

These are Microsoft’s inner tactics in a nutshell. There is a lot more in those documents, some of which we covered before [1, 2].

Meanwhile, for those who do not keep track of the market, Microsoft (MSFT) sank to just $20 last night, having fallen below $19 earlier in the week despite the massive buybacks.

As reported by the Seattle P-I, Microsoft fell to a 10-year low and it tried everything is could to avoid it.

Microsoft stock hit a 10-year low this morning after an analyst at Jefferies Group cut her forecasts for the company, citing “downward pressure on PC unit sales.”

Todd Bishop wrote about this too.

Microsoft has already cut its forecasts for the current fiscal year, warning that economic uncertainty could hurt demand for its products.

Returning to the principal rationale of this post, some time ago we wrote about layoffs. Microsoft’s layoffs did not begin in 2008. Back in 2006, Mary Jo Foley seems to be the one who broke the news and later had it confirmed.

Todd Bishop covered this too.

Microsoft hits delay, layoffs, loss all in one day

In a series of sudden twists, Microsoft Corp. on Thursday delayed the upcoming version of its widely used Office programs, lost a key product evangelist to Google and cut 148 jobs from its United States sales force.


In a separate development, Microsoft said Thursday that it’s cutting a net total of 148 positions from its U.S. sales operations, in one of the company’s larger job reductions on record.

A Microsoft employee, mini-microsoft, wrote about it this around the same time (he also wrote about this type of stuff in 2004: Microsoft Layoffs, Hiring, and Offshoring).

Additionally, confer “Redmond Heading to Red? Microsoft Announces Layoffs and Delays.”

Given the the company’s breathtaking 1998 loss, everything seems possible. They seem to be playing the sorts of schemes that make the global economies collapse at the moment.

There were also problems in 2003: “Microsoft forces layoffs on Xbox division in Japan.”

From 20002 also:

Microsoft Has Layoffs In Itv Unit”

Microsoft announced last week that it would lay off about 60 people in an attempt to jump-start its stalled ITV unit. Ed Graczyk, director of marketing at Microsoft TV, said the Redmond, Wash.-based colossus would now focus on delivering software for VOD services and for new “media center” devices, which offer a number of applications, including DVD playback and music storage.

In conclusion, Microsoft layoffs are not something new. The company is just being quite discreet about it. This post hopefully sheds some light on the truth. Case closed yet?


Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    November 15, 2008 at 5:08 am


    Look up ‘permatemps’ and the mulititude of lawsuits around them. Part of the deal was that M$ executives wanted to get out of paying benefits to their microserfs. The other was that SEC requirements for reporting layoffs of temp workers is different than for permanent staff. It’s all about gaming the system.

    These people fleeing employment at M$ are toxic waste for the IT sector, twice. First is that the corporate culture there appears neither productive nor creative nor positive. Those acclimated to such a culture will bring that, and the scent of failure with desperation, to their new jobs. Second, they know jackshit about technology and will instead masquerade as being knowledgable all the while doing nothing but acting as embedded sales teams for their former employer in Redmond.

    Let ‘em do a few years at McDonalds or emptying bedpans. Then after they’ve cleared their debt to society and have a few years of positive contributions, then consider them for higher end jobs.

  2. Michele said,

    November 15, 2008 at 8:51 am


    Sounds like a good time for some job sites -

    http://www.linkedin.com (professional networking)
    http://www.indeed.com (aggregated listings)
    http://www.realmatch.com (matches jobs based on your skills)

    Good look to those looking for work!

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 15, 2008 at 9:34 am


    Someone from India told USENET that Microsoft is firing in the online division, but I see no press coverage which confirms this.

    A reader just told me by E-mail: “MSFT seems to have been using many methods to hide layoffs, including hiring permatemps. Also, perhaps these round of layoffs have to do with the squawking Bill was making lately about “saving” MS with outsourcing.”

  4. bigd8a said,

    November 17, 2008 at 10:03 pm


    I think it’s interesting that a thead about whether Microsoft is laying off people has so much content focused on Microsoft’s sales practices being unethical. Of course, as a reader I have to question the integrity of the source. I mean couldn’t you at least get the NASDAQ Symbol correct?
    “Meanwhile, for those who do not keep track of the market, Microsoft (MDFT) sank to just $20 last night.” It’s MSFT for those who want to research the stability of Microsoft’s stock over the past decade.

    Every one is being hit hard and people are concerned about their jobs. If you want to create a post that provides meaningful information, try sticking to the topic. I think the problem here is that there isn’t any evidence of layoffs at Microsoft and lack of material is back filled with garbage.

    Big D8a

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 18, 2008 at 3:58 am



    That was just a typo. Corrected now.

  6. C-note said,

    November 26, 2008 at 4:42 pm


    Step 1: RIFs at the Microsoft Subsidiaries:


    Step 2: purge the mother ship

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 26, 2008 at 5:00 pm


    Thank you for that second pointer.

What Else is New

  1. Links 18/3/2018: Wine 3.4, Wine-Staging 3.4, KDE Connect 1.8 for Android

    Links for the day

  2. TXED Courts Are Causing Businesses to Leave the District, Notably For Fear That Having Any Operations Based There is a Legal Liability

    A discussion about the infamous abundance of patent cases in the Eastern District of Texas (TXED/EDTX) and what this will mean for businesses that have branches or any form of operations there (making them subjected to lawsuits in that district even after TC Heartland)

  3. PTAB Hatred is So Intense Among the Patent 'Industry' That Even Scammers Are Hailed as Champions If They Target PTAB

    The patent microcosm is so eager to stop the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that it's supporting sham deals (or "scams") and exploits/distorts the voice of the new USPTO Director to come up with PTAB-hostile catchphrases

  4. The Patent 'Industry' is Increasingly Mocking CAFC and Its Judges Because It Doesn't Like the Decisions

    Judgmental patent maximalists are still respecting high courts only when it suits them; whenever the outcome is not desirable they're willing to attack the legitimacy of the courts and the competence of judges, even resorting to racist ad hominem attacks if necessary

  5. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Carries on Enforcing § 101, Invalidating Software Patents and Upsetting the Patent 'Industry' in the Process

    A quick report on where PTAB stands at the moment, some time ahead of the Oil States decision (soon to come from the US Supreme Court)

  6. Luxembourg Can Become a Hub of Patent Trolls If the EPO Carries on With Its 'Reforms', Even Without the UPC

    With or without the Unified Patent Court (UPC), which is the wet dream of patent trolls and their legal representatives, the EPO's terrible policies have landed a lot of low-quality patents on the hands of patent trolls (many of which operate through city-states that exist for tax evasion -- a fiscal environment ripe for shells)

  7. The Patent 'Printing Machine' of the EPO Will Spawn Many Lawsuits and Extortions (Threats of Lawsuits), in Effect Taxing Europe

    The money-obsessed, money-printing patent office, where the assembly line mentality has been adopted and patent-printing management is in charge, is devaluing or diluting the pool of European Patents, more so with restrictions (monetary barriers) to challenging bad patents

  8. Links 17/3/2018: Varnish 6, Wine 3.4

    Links for the day

  9. Deleted EPO Tweets and Promotion of Software Patents Amid Complaints About Abuse and Demise of Patent Quality

    Another ordinary day at the EPO with repressions of workforce, promotion of patents that aren't even allowed, and Team UPC failing to get its act together

  10. Guest Post: Suspected “Whitewashing” Operations by Željko Topić in Croatia

    Articles about EPO Vice-President Željko Topić are disappearing and sources indicate that it’s a result of yet more SLAPP from him

  11. Monumental Effort to Highlight Decline in Quality of European Patents (a Quarter of Examiners Sign Petition in Spite of Fear), Yet Barely Any Press Coverage

    he media in Europe continues to be largely apathetic towards the EPO crisis, instead relaying a bunch of press releases and doctored figures from the EPO; only blogs that closely follow EPO scandals bothered mentioning the new petition

  12. Careful Not to Conflate UPC Critics With AfD or Anti-EU Elements

    The tyrannical Unified Patent Court (UPC) is being spun as something that only fascists would oppose after the right-wing, anti-EU politicians in Germany express strong opposition to it

  13. Links 15/3/2018: Qt Creator 4.6 RC, Microsoft Openwashing

    Links for the day

  14. PTAB Continues to Increase Capacity Ahead of Oil States; Patent Maximalists Utterly Upset

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) sees the number of filings up to an almost all-time high and efforts to undermine PTAB are failing pretty badly -- a trend which will be further cemented quite soon when the US Supreme Court (quite likely) backs the processes of PTAB

  15. Patent Maximalists Are Still Trying to Create a Patent Bubble in India

    Litigation maximalists and patent zealots continue to taunt India, looking for an opportunity to sue over just about anything including abstract ideas because that's what they derive income from

  16. EPO Staff Has Just Warned the National Delegates That EPO's Decline (in Terms of Patent Quality and Staff Welfare) Would Be Beneficial to Patent Trolls

    The staff of the EPO increasingly recognises the grave dangers of low-quality patents -- an issue we've written about (also in relation to the EPO) for many years

  17. The EPO is a Mess Under Battistelli and Stakeholders Including Law Firms Will Suffer, Not Just EP Holders

    As one last 'gift' from Battistelli, appeals are becoming a lot more expensive -- the very opposite of what he does to applications, in effect ensuring a sharp increase in wrongly-granted patents

  18. The EPO Under Battistelli Has Become Like China Under Xi and CPC

    The EPO is trying very hard to silence not only the union but also staff representatives; it's evidently worried that the lies told by Team Battistelli will be refuted and morale be affected by reality

  19. Links 14/3/2018: IPFire 2.19 – Core Update 119, Tails 3.6

    Links for the day

  20. Links 13/3/2018: Qt Creator 4.5.2, Tails 3.6, Firefox 59

    Links for the day

  21. Willy Minnoye (EPO) Threatened Staff With Disabilities Said to Have Been Caused by the EPO Work Pressures

    Willy Minnoye, or Battistelli's 'deputy' at the EPO until last year, turns out to have misused powers (and immunity) to essentially bully vulnerable staff

  22. IAM and IBM Want Lots of Patent Litigation in India

    Having 'championed' lobbying for litigation Armageddon in China (where IBM's practicing business units have gone), patent maximalists set their eyes on India

  23. The Patent Trolls' Lobby (IAM) Already Pressures Andrei Iancu, Inciting a USPTO Director Against PTAB

    Suspicions that Iancu might destroy the integrity of the Office for the sake of the litigation ‘industry’ may be further reaffirmed by the approach towards patent maximalists from IAM, who also participated in the shaming of his predecessor, Michelle Lee, and promoted a disgraced judge (and friend of patent trolls) for her then-vacant role

  24. Patent Trolls in the United States Increasingly Target Small Businesses Which Cannot Challenge Their Likely-Invalid Software Patents

    South by Southwest (SXSW Conference/Festivals in Austin, Texas) has a presentation about patent trolls, whose general message may be reaffirmed by recent legal actions in Texas and outside Texas

  25. EPO Staff Union Organises Protest to Complain About Inability “of the Office to Recruit the Highly Qualified Staff it Needs.”

    Having already targeted union leaders and staff representatives, the EPO may soon be going after those whom they passionately represented and the staff union (SUEPO) wants the Administrative Council to be aware

  26. Battistelli Likes to Describe His Critics as 'Nazis', Team UPC Will Attempt the Same Thing Against UPC Critics

    Demonising one's opposition or framing it as "fascist" is a classic trick; to what degree will Team UPC exploit such tactics?

  27. Session in Bavaria to Discuss the Abuses of the European Patent Office Later Today

    The EPO shambles in Munich have gotten the attention of more Bavarian politicians, more so in light of the Constitutional complaint against the UPC (now dealt with by the German FCC, which saw merit in the complaint)

  28. Links 12/3/2018: Linux 4.16 RC5, KEXI 3.1, Karton 1.0, Netrunner 18.03, Debian 9.4

    Links for the day

  29. EPO Patent 'Growth' Not Achieved But Demanded/Mandated by Battistelli, by Lowering Quality of Patents/Services

    Targets at the EPO are not actually reached but are being imposed by overzealous management which dries up all the work in a hurry in order to make examiners redundant and many European Patents worthless

  30. Doubt Over Independence of Judges at the EPO Clouds Reason in Deciding Regarding Patents on Life

    With the growing prospect of a Board of Appeal (BoA) having to decide on patentability of CRISPR 'innovation' (more like explanation/discovery), questions linger or persist about judges' ability to rule as they see fit rather than what some lunatic wants


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts