Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Lays Off Many More Workers in the Advertising Division/s and Terminates Products While the Press is Distracted by TikTok Rumours



WARN Act
"Might be an idea to look at WARN Act [1, 2] stuff," Ryan noted today (in #techrights IRC). "Of course, Microsoft can just keep it coming in small chunks to get around the WARN Act."



Summary: Microsoft is laying off a huge number of workers without properly reporting these and whilst exploring ways to divert attention away from those layoffs

Cortana's many deaths were hardly covered in the media over this past week, maybe half a week or so (we saw some Microsoft-connected sites issuing face-saving spin about that, e.g. The Verge and GeekWire). There's something potentially big going on there, but nobody is researching and properly reporting on it, as it is instead derived from Microsoft's own statements. Don't they have time to actually study what is really going on? An associate of ours blames the TikTok media storm (about 2 days old now), which grooms Microsoft while ignoring the severe issues it has been having. So we've examined what Microsoft insiders are writing anonymously in thelayoff.com. The findings are very telling.



Ryan and I have been looking closely, equipped with knowledge about prior layoffs, at anonymous posts. We examined things mostly so as to investigate whether layoffs are involved (or, in other words, whether Cortana workers were reassigned to another project/department). Since Microsoft propaganda sites belittle the whole thing (Microsoft has apparently killed it off completely, across everything, just like its stores) and there's no indication that these developers will stay onboard, are we looking at yet another wave of layoffs? We lack contacts with people in these divisions so we can't think of a way to find out if they're sacked. But earlier today we heard about other units and it doesn't look/sound too good. Microsoft sounds like a company that's collapsing while lying to shareholders.

"There's no way they'll make any large layoffs abruptly as they've done in the past and they've already been cutting folks ~slowly~ since May," says this message. "According to this guy," Ryan noted, "Microsoft rarely, if ever, allows anyone working there to reach 55 and have their pension become vested."

"Trickling layoffs out over time allows them to remain free of any potential bad press from contributing to the unemployment problem in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis," says another message. Those are insiders from Microsoft, some of whom saw or suffered layoffs.

"I'm a PM [Program Manager] in windows COSINE D&I," says this message, and "my job got eliminated yesterday. This was business driven and is not performance related. So, yes, layoffs are happening..."

"According to this," Ryan noted, "Microsoft was twice as likely to lay you off if you were over 40."

This is typical across many companies other than Microsoft. But it now seems like there's another layoffs round at Microsoft (sixth this summer!), though we need to know the numbers. We have a associate who thinks they use TikTok to just (or mostly) bury this news even if the TikTok thing is made-up or superficial nonsense... just to provide ‘cover’ through it'll never materialise.

"Layoffs in the Windows division according to this guy," Ryan has found (Azure also, definitely!). "Didn't say how many, but he was a Program Manager (their title for a supervisor that directly oversees an entire project, usually with 50-100 people reporting to them)." Ryan used to be a Microsoft MVP, so he knows a thing or two about the company.

"D&I is Data and Intelligence," Ryan said. "That would be the people doing the data collection that Windows 10 performs on the user in the background in order to "optimize" advertising. Across Windows Store, Bing, Edge, and Skype. It's interesting that they're firing firing their adtech people, if true. Are they trying to pivot away from advertising?"

The real news at Microsoft right now is nothing related to TikTok (not anything related to mergers and/or acquisitions) but covert layoffs of large magnitude/scale. Ryan continued: "He describes working there as a descent into "paranoia" about quarterly performance reviews and if you'll even have a job soon."

"Another [Microsoft] poster said when he was close to becoming vested (2 years short), he started getting negative performance reviews out of nowhere and they eventually showed him the door."

Earlier today I learned (on the phone) about people there being being denied "senior" roles for ages. This is unconventional by GAFAM standards.

Only about a month after Bill Gates had more or less "officially" left Microsoft (except as shareholder) they may have tested the response to Microsoft layoffs with that bogus spin about replacing "a few" workers with "AI"; since then about 5,000 layoffs have gone under the radar.

"Cortana is an analytics and telemetry app that data mines people while pretending to be a digital assistant," Ryan remarked. "They built it directly into the Windows shell and turned it on by default (wasting a lot of panel space) to lure people into using it. I just don't think they got the return on investment they were hoping for as an adtech."

The more we learn about Microsoft layoffs, the more likely it seems that the TikTok rumours serve to distract from the layoffs, and likely by design/intention. If that was the plan, it worked!

"Cortana would likely be in COSINE D&I," Ryan said. They've fired even the managers there. Microsoft is in a bad state if not a state of collapse, but it'll do anything to distract from that. It even lies to its own shareholders, as Microsoft insiders have told us repeatedly. If that's not sinister enough (that insiders know Microsoft fakes its performance), we don't know what is...

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