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Microsoft Layoffs Actually Began Years Ago, More Likely to Come

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?

Closed

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