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Eye on Microsoft: Failures Galore This Week

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Summary: Some quick picks from the past week's news

Workforce Crisis



From the 'Microsoft press': Inside Microsoft's Worst Hard Time

Inside Microsoft's Worst Hard Time



[...]

There were two huge numbers in this quarter. Microsoft suffered a decline in client revenue of 8 percent, which the company attributed to PC market weakness and a continued shift to lower-cost netbooks.


More from the 'Microsoft press': Microsoft's January layoffs took effect today

Microsoft's January layoffs took effect today



[...]

Some individuals have reported being laid off since the initial announcement. It's not clear whether the company will let people go in dribs and drabs or make another large layoff announcement. Microsoft wouldn't comment on this today.


And some more from the 'Microsoft press': Iowa governor trolling for Microsoft facility

Microsoft announced in August that the $500 million data center was to be built in West Des Moines, Iowa. But a significant economic downturn followed, and in January, Microsoft cut 5,000 jobs and postponed the project.

[...]

West Des Moines City Manager Jeff Pomerantz got the news of the postponement from Microsoft in January. He said at the time that the company hadn't given the city a timeline of when the project will resume.


For context, see:



Microsoft employee assaulted and robbed in West Seattle

A Microsoft employee was Maced and punched until he blacked out Sunday morning in West Seattle, and police are searching for his attackers.

The man told police he was walking home from the 7-Eleven on Delridge Way Southwest and Southwest Henderson Street about 2 a.m. when he noticed three men following him.


Products Setback



Microsoft again delays identity management server (mentioned the other day)

Microsoft is again delaying the release of the anticipated upgrade to its Identity Lifecycle Manager 2.0 software that has been years in development.

The software is now slated to ship between January and March 2010, a slip that has angered some partners and users.


Gaming



Q&A: Rippy on sparking Bonfire, disbanding Ensemble

In September, Microsoft announced that it would be shutting down its wholly owned development house Ensemble Studios. The move coincided with the software giant's announcement that it was shedding 5,000 jobs to help cope with the worldwide economic slowdown.


Are Xbox 360's E74 Failure's The New RRoD? (more comments in Slashdot)

According to polls conducted by Joystiq and Engagdet, E74 failures on Xbox 360's is on the rise. Joystiq asked readers to send in emails with reports of the failure, and recieved an overwhelming number of responses to their call. For those that aren't acquainted with the dreaded E74 failure, it's a problem that occurs when there is an AV cable error. On the surface anyway, because if the cable is still in working order (which it usually is) then it's a scaler chip problem, directly involving the ANA/HANA chip which is connected to the AV cable; or in some cases it's the GPU.


New Xbox 360 Hardware Failures Being Reported in Significant Numbers

Xbox 360 failures are on the rise since the launch of the New Xbox Experience

A known Xbox 360 hardware issue is beginning to surface in significant numbers recently based on research conducted by video game site Joystiq. Tentatively called the Xbox 360 E74 error, one of the lights on the “Ring of Lights” on the front of your Xbox 360 console flashes red and you receive the error code and message: "E74. System Error. Contact Xbox Customer Support". The symptoms involve the bottom right portion of the indicator ring repeatedly flashing on and off and lines or snow will become visible across the screen.


Microsoft sacked its employee who blew the whistle on such failures (i.e. fired for saying the truth about failures that put people's lives at risk and may have caused deaths).

Microsoft Wants You to Pay for E74 Repairs on Xbox 360s over a year old

I had a misunderstanding in my pervious article on the Xbox 360 E74 error. It ends up that Microsoft is saying that it will repair an E74 error stricken Xbox 360 for free only in the first year since purchase since it is still covered under the basic one year warranty so the E74 is ONLY covered by the normal warranty. After that you have to pay to get it fixed. They will pay for shipping but E74 error victims will have to pay to get it fixed if their Xbox 360 is over a year old.

[...]

I am sure that the Xbox Red Ring of Death debacle has devalued the perception of Microsoft as a brand outside of videogames. The RROD and E74 runs the risk of turning an entire generation of future consumers away from seeing Microsoft favorably.

I am not even going to mention how much the Jerry Seinfeld Windows Vista ads sucked.


Xbox Live Cancels Year-Long Prepaid Account, Demands Another Year's Subscription To Reactivate

Xbox Live has struck again, this time by screwing up the auto-renewal on a customer's account and ruining the prepaid annual membership he activated just three months ago.


Xbox designer accuses Microsoft of homophobia

Jamie Durrant, 38, who is homosexual, is suing Microsoft for €£45,000 for "hurt feelings" because he says he was called by nicknames including 'Fag Boy Jim'.


Xbox designer sues Microsoft for harassment

The plaintiff has also said that the firm didn't have policies for dealing with such complaints about homophobic harassment. He'd been employed by Lionhead Studios for 11 years, and the company was bought out by Microsoft two years ago. Durrant states the harassment began last January.


Lionhead Employee Sues Microsoft Over 'Homophobic Abuse'

Microsoft also angered the lesbian population for banning a player last month.

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