11.26.08

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Quick Mention: More Layoffs at Microsoft

Posted in Microsoft at 4:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft layoffs are an issue that we last explored a fortnight ago. It carries on.

Xconomy received a report last week that the Oslo, Norway-based FAST Search division of Microsoft, which has a 180-person outpost in Needham, MA, and a smaller office in New York, had laid off 25 people in its U.S. offices.

As pointed out in the comments here, there is more of this going on, but Microsoft keeps quiet despite its obligations to the investors.

It should not be surprising that over 10 times per day Boycott Novell welcomes a visitor searching for “Microsoft layoffs” (exact search phrase). People are curious, so they actively look for answers. They deserve answers.

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20 Comments

  1. G. Michaels said,

    November 26, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Gravatar

    Roy, did you notice what your good friend and collaborator was doing today over on Slashdot?

    http://slashdot.org/~twitter/journal/218245

    Please remember this the next time you accuse someone of “witch hunts” directed at him. These two as well:

    http://slashdot.org/~twitter/journal/207689
    http://slashdot.org/~twitter/journal/206773

    Enjoy, as he likes to say.

    Note: writer of this comment adds absolutely nothing but stalking and personal attacks against readers, as documented here.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 26, 2008 at 8:17 pm

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    My name is Roy, not “twitter”, the person whom you apparently stalk all over the Web.

    Get a life.

  3. G. Michaels said,

    November 26, 2008 at 8:22 pm

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    That’s why I said “your good friend and collaborator”.

    Since you’re so close to him, would you be a sport and ask him to stop stalking people on Slashdot, writing long articles about years’ worth of their posts and attaching snide and incorrect commentary to each of the links, please? That would be great. Also, if you could ask him again to stop using so many accounts there, that would be great as well.

    By the way, I like the new sidebar things you added. They look a lot better.

    Note: writer of this comment adds absolutely nothing but stalking and personal attacks against readers, as documented here.

  4. G. Michaels said,

    November 26, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Gravatar

    Oh, someone posted a comment to the stalker’s journal here:

    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1043395&cid=25904147

    It actually bears quoting:

    ++++++
    Is this all you have left, Twitter? Is this what your subscription money is spent on?

    Looks to me like all you’ve done is pick a 4-digit UID at random, go through that user’s posting history, and apply your own special Ideological Purity test to his writings. Of course, your ideology is so irrationally absolute, you find him wanting.

    So how do you respond? Do you open a dialogue? Do you challenge him on his views? Do you dare reply to him, even once?

    No. You stay silent, wait until the afternoon before a holiday weekend, and assassinate his character in your journal, behind his back, for the unforgivable crime of not thinking exactly like you.

    And you think that this is somehow beneficial to the Free Software movement? The only thing these passive-aggressive tantrums are good for is declaring to all who can read that you are a petulant child.
    ++++++

    Your friends are true assets to the Free Software community, Roy. You should be proud.

    Note: writer of this comment adds absolutely nothing but stalking and personal attacks against readers, as documented here.

  5. David Gerard said,

    November 27, 2008 at 9:10 am

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    Microsoft are in the stumbling-idiot-with-money stage of acquisition fever. Desperate to find a way out of the monopoly trap, they frantically buy companies, then break them trying to turn them into tools to leverage the monopoly.

    Recent example: MultiMap.co.uk. I have a friend who worked there until shortly after the acquisition. The system was made from Perl on GNU/Linux. Microsoft couldn’t stand for this, so they fired several of the dev and admin team and most of the rest left because of how Microsoft was treating them.

    Compare Microsoft’s attempts to move Hotmail to NT.

    Microsoft acquisitions: where “synergy” is another word for “2+2=1.”

  6. David Gerard said,

    November 27, 2008 at 9:14 am

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    This thought just occurred to me:

    Microsoft knows it needs real innovation, so it buys disruptive innovators. But it thinks it can neutralise the disruption without also destroying the innovation. This trick keeps failing. They keep doing it.

    “2+2=1″ first occurred to me when they were trying to buy Yahoo. That would have “added value” like a particle and antiparticle annihilating.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 27, 2008 at 9:21 am

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    Yes, you’ve hit this nail on the head.

    They probably realise that Yahoo! would not make sense, but they want to convert Yahoo! search users into Live/MSN/whatever users so that they can harvest some more personal information (for ads/search results) and brag about market share gains. Same with Hotmail…

  8. David Gerard said,

    November 27, 2008 at 9:29 am

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    “and brag about market share gains.”

    The decline of IBM or the Soviet Union in the 1980s – when internal managerial goals take ridiculous precedence over actually working to keep the organisation functional and productive.

    “Same with Hotmail…”

    I think they were realising back that far that a monopoly is a trap, and considered Hotmail a good way to get in on the ground floor of this Internet thing; monetising it could come later. Public web-based email is an obvious idea in retrospect, but it was amazing and groundbreaking at the time.

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 27, 2008 at 9:44 am

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    Laying out the technologies is essential though. Why is Microsoft still refusing to support SVG, which would enable JS to achieve much of what we have with RIAs? Even the father of the WWW recently denounced Microsoft for it.

    See this, among other memos on the subject.

    BillG (1995): “Given that we are looking at the internet destroying our position as the setter of standards and APIs do you see things we should be doing to use ACT assets to avoid this?

    In reply to: “As an example of Bill’s point, Dan Ling showed me this morning that Satan (the new internet ” daemon :-)) actually uses HTML as a user interface. Other software may begin to do this. It’s easy. It produces a reasonable looking machine independent UI rather quickly. It’s dangerous from our perspective of wanting to make and preserve valuable standards. There are plenty of other examples.

    You know what Microsoft did to Netscape afterwards.

  10. AlexH said,

    November 27, 2008 at 11:05 am

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    The problems with SVG are more than just ‘MS haven’t done it yet’, though. It doesn’t have a flag-bearer.

    Even on Firefox (or similar) where the SVG support is relatively good, it’s still not close to approaching the feature set of (say) Flash. There would be no need for <canvas> either, if SVG was actually much use.

    And, as I’ve said before, none of the content creation tools output SVG.

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 27, 2008 at 11:07 am

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    …it’s still not close to approaching the feature set of (say) Flash.

    That’s besides the point.

    And, as I’ve said before, none of the content creation tools output SVG.

    Chicken and egg. Tell Microsoft to fix its wares.

  12. AlexH said,

    November 27, 2008 at 11:12 am

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    People aren’t using Microsoft tools to create RIA content though (aside from Silverlight, which I assume we both agree is a minority player right now).

    If you think that SVG’s feature set, compared to Flash, is besides the point, then how on earth does SVG enable JS to do RIA-style work?

  13. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 27, 2008 at 11:23 am

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    I don’t want to descend to techno-philosophical discussions, but one could argue, “why not just take the complicated desktop API to the Web and be done with it?”

    The Web is open, standard, and cross-platform. Silverlight is fighting all these values and it should be therefore rejected.

  14. AlexH said,

    November 27, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Gravatar

    Right, but the point is about SVG. The failure of take-up of that standard isn’t down to MS in any rational examination; it has much broader problems.

  15. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 27, 2008 at 12:31 pm

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    I beg to differ. Just look at adoption of proper and rich CSS, not to mention translucent PNGs.

  16. AlexH said,

    November 27, 2008 at 12:40 pm

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    Sure, look at the adoption of those standards: Opera, Firefox, Chrome, Safari et. al. all support those much better than IE does and they’re gaining market-share strongly as a result because they’re better browsers.

    Then look at SVG, and see how support is barely beyond beta and how basically no-one is using it.

    XHTML2.0 is a standard too. Even fewer people care about that, either, and it’s not because of IE.

  17. David Gerard said,

    November 27, 2008 at 12:51 pm

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    I assume we’re speaking specifically of dynamic SVG here, since static SVG is alive and well and in wide use.

  18. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 27, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Gravatar

    For context:

    Creator of Web spots a flaw in Internet Explorer

    “Tim Berners-Lee, the British-born inventor of the World Wide Web, said this week that Internet Explorer is falling behind other browsers in the way it handles scalable vector graphics.”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26646919/

  19. AlexH said,

    November 27, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Gravatar

    @David: well, I think “wide usage” is possibly stretching it a bit, but yes – the context was the RIA discussion; interactivity, animation, etc.

  20. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 27, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Gravatar

    JavaScript for state, although CSS can achieve similar effects.

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