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The Microsoft job cuts are necessary and really aren't as large as they seem

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent around an email to employees last week. For those reading between the lines it was a clear message that job cuts were coming. Today they made it official. Microsoft will cut up to 18,000 jobs in the coming months.

I think he's doing what needs to be done, and I suspect this will setup Microsoft to be more successful in mobile and cloud services.

I've been following the technology sector for a long time. Usually when a company announces major job cuts it means they are in trouble, but it would be a sweeping generalization to say this is always the case. I remember when BlackBerry (then Research In Motion) announced a significant round of cuts back in the early 2000s. Analysts and investors freaked out. But in reality the company was just cleaning house as it prepared for even faster growth. The business went on to hit incredible new highs. Job cuts are not always a bad sign.

It's also very common for companies to cut staff after a major acquisition. Remember that of the 18,000 job cuts Microsoft announced a full 12,500 are coming from the Nokia division. Within Nokia many of these are likely to be factory positions because the vast majority of Nokia's hardware was not yet running Windows Phone. There isn't really any point in making feature phones anymore, so Microsoft is doing what needs to be done.

Usually in these types of transactions the seller wants to look good and structures the deal such that all layoffs are the responsibility of the big, bad buyer. So I'd practically ignore the 12,500 Nokia job cuts because they are obvious and something Stephen Elop would have had to do anyway if Nokia stayed independent.

So that leaves about 5,500 core Microsoft job cuts, or about 5% of the company's workforce excluding Nokia. This really doesn't amount to much of a cut, does it?

And we're already seeing evidence that these cuts are, at least in part, focused on the operating systems group. I think this makes sense. Nadella doesn't talk about desktops. He talks about mobile and cloud. Given the long history of Microsoft's dominance in the old world of the desktop OS they almost certainly have far more employees than they need.

If Microsoft is going to excel in mobile applications and services tied to the cloud then they need to refocus their energy. Today's announcement is probably just the first move. I wouldn't be surprised of more cuts come later.

Money-wise, this will cost the company between $1.1 and $1.6 billion. At the midpoint of the range it works out to about $75,000 per employee. This is very typical in all of the layoff rounds I've seen announced in my years following stocks. Considering Microsoft has a market value of $372 billion as of this writing, the cost of these layoffs are inconsequential.

Naturally, we wish all affected employees the best possible outcome.

(Chris Umiastowski is a contributing financial writer to the Mobile Nations network. You can see the rest of his posts here at AndroidCentral, iMore and CrackBerry.)

306 Comments
  • It might be a right step but I feel sorry for the force. Unemployment would rise. Some might even go under debt.
  • So there is no other job in the USA?
  • Most of the Nokia/Microsoft Mobile layoffs are probably "overseas", where Nokia X and Asha are manufactured.
  • Here we go assuming again. Windows development team is immediately being impacted and it's not over seas. I'm sure there's going to be plenty of Americans laid off as well.
  • You would be correct. Much easier (and less expensive) to release employees in the US.
  • Great! Thanks Microsoft for dumping all those great Nokia employees. Lumia brand will be nothing without the people that built the platform. Remember ZUNE???
  • Fortunately MS is keeping those Lumia people and letting go the people involved in feature phones. If you had read the actual memos you'd know MS is in fact focusing on Windows Phone development.
  • Not everyone would be able to get a job. Most of would but not everyone. -_-
  • In fact, all of them can get a job. Some may just take longer then others. Whole companies go out of business and those workers fine different jobs. Maybe better ones. This always happens.
  • I'm sure it will benefit the whole local economy especially in Oulu, Finland where people involved in developing Nokia feature phones are released to develop something with a brigheter future than dying featurephones. 
  • I would imagine the NSA is having a job fair in Microsoft's parking lot.
  • :D
  • Dude.. There are jobs. Now ask if there are jobs that one can get, irregardless of one's qualifications. The market sucks @ss right now.
  • A good worker can always sell himself
  • Prostitution isn't for everyone
  • ^^^ perfect comment
  • Nice!!!
  • I'm sure there's no one who doesn't feel bad about the people losing jobs. Let's take that as a given and stop using it as a reason that this sucks.
  • Rest assured the writing was on the wall for some time since the acquisition of Nokia was first seriously discussed.  Also, a change of CEO usually results in some changes in personnel.  Anyone within the company paying attention had to know something like this would happen.  Yet another reason to keep one's resume (C.V.) up to date.
  • Laid off former Microsoft employee takes to YouTube http://youtu.be/lRV6PXB6QLk Life after Microsoft..?
  • I'm sure those affected by the job cuts would be as pragmatic as this article. Good luck to all those facing the chop.
  • Change is inevitable and the only constant thing there is
  • You will be thankful for such wise words by your boss when you get fired one day.
  • Very true
  • And how do you know that he isn't the boss? Even if he isn't, all should heed those words in this day and age where a job for life doesn't exist anymore.
  • It's a fact of life. Man up, Nancy.
  • He may have already been laid off before. Everyone gets multiple jobs throughout their lives.
  • Not the only one. Here's another inevitable and constant thing: death and taxes.
     
  • Well, in the case of taxes, that depends on what country you live in.
  • Or you're Jeff Bezos ;-)
  • I would've preferred a higher in take from Nokia into MS just for more cultural diversity. MS just seem so slow to do things while it feels like Nokia are constantly waiting for them to catch up and without Nokia, WP would be dead along with MS's second attempt at mobile.
  • Depends which Nokia employees are being cut. It seems these are the manufacturing employees. The really valuable Nokia employees are from research, design, and marketing. Hopefully, Microsoft will keep most of those employees.
  • The Nokia research employees remained with Nokia, though.
  • Not all of them (and depends of course on where one draws the line on "research") though. E.g. (AFAIK) many of the camera guys did move to MS (before some of them moved to Apple.. :P).
  • Indeed we did! Formerly known as Nokia CTO, it is now known as Nokia Technologies. -a Nokia Technologies employee (who will never use a Windows Phone again)
  • MS is getting rid of the feature phone business and people involved in it. Because feature phone is a dying breed anyway it makes sense for MS to focus on solely the Lumia smartphones.
  • How do you know that won't be the case? Satya said there will be job transitions.....does that mean some people will tranfer from one job function to another?????? Please stop being negative as they are making these move to increase productivity and effeciency. READ PEOPLE READ.....I HOPE YOU GUYS CAN READ AND NOT JUST THE HEADLINE OR FIRST FEW SENTENCES.
  • You'd be singing a different tune if it was you getting laid off! Why not ask those getting canned what they think!
  • I already know they think. They'll be depressed, have a day of "oh shit, what am I going to do?" Update their resume then go looking for a job. Been there, done that, many times. Boohoo
  • As always the wrong people get fired and the wrong got the bonuses.
  • Based on what facts?
  • His Karl Marx manifesto
  • ^^^ This. What facts are you basing your statement on?
  • Well, as far as I know Balmer is a billionaire now and was the guy in charge on Microsoft's way into today's problems.And i haven't heard of former Nokia managers to be on welfare after they left. Btw. you do not have to be a marxist to critcize things. Ordinary good old common sense is enough. Just use it, guys.
  • Ballmer made them a shitload of money in his tenure. Was he supposed to leave on welfare?
  • Is that you, Steve?  
  • No, I'm the Ghost of Fucking Facts. Sorry if your misplaced hatred isn't infecting me.
  • "Ghost of Fucking Facts" I love it! I need to rememeber that one when I comment on CNET.
  • Novron -- that is the funniest thing I've ever read on WPC. Ha ha ha you killed him mate ;)
  • That's the funniest thing I've read on the interwebs in a long while.
  • The millions Elop got from Nokia.....
  • Just look at the UK finance sector and civil service - full of people being rewarded for failure. Just because you're not aware of anyone doesn't make him wrong.
  • Not so big, I think some 18000 people will be glad do know that...
  • You need to separate business from personal. Investors are less concerned with the human consequences and there should be room for an honest look at the announcement. It has nothing to do with feeling bad that people are losing their jobs. Doctors don't cry over each lost patient either.
  • Wall Street is reacting positively to this news. MSFT is up.
  • Because we all know wall street is good at guessing the future /s
  • Microsoft is a publicly traded company, so it needs to consider its stockholders' needs.
  • Yep stock price has been stagnant for a while..
  • Obama bends over backwards and showers Wall St with cash to keep them happy. Maybe they do know something.
  • Depends. Did the doctor make the decision to lose the patient? Even in the movies when the guy has to cut the rope or else they are all going to die, they feel bad. I also agree that this is business. But his comment was exactly about the "human consequences". And I share that feeling. Those causing the consequences and not "crying over each lost patient" are increasingly believed to be the problem for human suffering, especially in the U.S. Europe has its own, better ways of dealing with these situations to lower the impact of those consequences.
  • Thank you for this reply Daniel. I hear people making it sound like it's the end of the world to lose a job today! That is a very dangerous mindset for any employee to have. Yes it hurts the individuals affected but I believe you just pull yourself together, life goes on, and interestingly some would actually go on to achieve much more after this. MS is doing what they need to to stay alive and moving. What's the alternative really? Let's all look forward!
  • When 18,000 people are laid off at once it can make it very, very difficult for them to find jobs.  It creates a temporary market glut.
  • If I had a kid, I'd start him in investing as soon as he could comprehend a piggy bank.  There's two classes in modern society: investors and workers.  And, due to increasing automation, there is a rapidly decreasing demand for the latter.
     
  • Poor analogy: Doctors go out of their way to save people, not purposefully get rid of them to increase their pay-packet.
  • Yep 18000 families......
  • And how do you know every worker has a family and is the only one supporting it financially?
  • So keeping people employed for the sake of employment is good? Under reorgs such as these, this is very normal. Eliminate factories firsthand, eliminate redundancy in HR/Management/marketing departments. Got to trim that fat and unfortunately its jobs that people are in that are impacted, but I would rather see cuts and streamline sections then full on closers.
  • Agreed......it wasn't this much crying when Nokia close facilities and consolidate the long before this, yet, I guess because it's Microsoft it bad...I feel sorry for anyone losing their jobs, but as stated in a consolidation, everyone isn't going to make the cut internal or external employee.....it doesn't matter as job will be lost.
  • However, full on closures is what you got. Entire divisions (like those working on Nokia X and Asha) were wiped out. Quality engineers and designers, all gone. (to competitors).
  • I'd rather see pay for top management, or take a pay cut than job cut... But in the end, this is nothing new, it was or should have been expected, wishing all those affected the best at the EOD
  • "I'd rather see pay for top management, or take a pay cut than job cut..."
    Generally, I agree with this 100% and I'm always in favor of more equitable pay scales between executives, management and employees. However, at least in this case it seems to be less about belt tightening (because the company may be doing poorly) and more about re-structuring the company to run more effectively. In other words, I'm not sure Nadella taking a pay cut would make keeping redundant employees a smart business decision.
  • More equitable pay scales? I don't even know what that means. When you cut pay to make it more equitable and keep, "valued" employees, you will lose the cream of the crop. Good employees know their value because recruiters constantly remind them of that. If I don't see an annual increase that meets my expectations, I update my resume. I don't beg for scraps and hope that they let me keep my job. I could leave my employer right now and get a raise. In tech, being a, "manager" doesn't really mean anything on the pay scale.
  • It means the rate at which executive/managerial pay has gone up far outpaced average worker pay, in fact, median income has stayed flat in the US for the last 20 years. So yes, I think there should be caps within companies between what the CEO makes and what the average employee earns, with considerations of profitability and general company health taken into consideration.
  • You know who's gonna really take this hard ......those little old ladies behind the counters at the local unemployment agency!!!! Could you imagine 18000 unemployed all at the same time .....omg they'll have a heart attack!!
  • That may be true in many industries but it doesn't apply to technology firms. The distinction between a manager and a, "regular" employee has very little meaning. There is a difference between directors and everyone else with a large gap for executives. However, executives earn every red cent they make in my opinion. Not only do they have to be inspirational leaders but they have to deal with all the whining, the board of directors and the shareholders. When it's a short list, the pay scale reflects that. Studies show that only 10% of all employees are high achievers with as many as 25% being dead weight and everyone else somewhere in the middle. The day they pay me anything that isn't commensurate with my value is the day that I find someone who will.
  • Its worth noting that for all the hub bub about executive compensation it still only amounts to a drop in the bucket. I bet total year compensation including bonuses and options for the highest paid 10 employees at Microsoft does not even equal a rounding error on their balance sheet. It drives me nuts when people "instead of (insert thing that a big bad company is doing here) why don't they just cut the CEOs pay?!" As of this is a viable solution. Remember $25 million seems like a lot to most people but to a company the size of Microsoft it nothing... In the case of Microsoft its about one 15 thousandth of the companies total value.
    Not to mention that its provable, established fact that some CEO have a real knack for making a company money... So cut executive pay by 95% and not only will it not ANY material impact on a companies financial situation overall but the company would quickly go out of business because all the competent executives would go elsewhere... No matter what occupy wall street may think CEOs are people to... Like most people they don't work for the fun of it... They work for cold, hard cash.. Don't want to pay for their talents they will to someone who will. Companies know this and that's why they pay big money for real talent... Its not rocket science.
  • Even if they did pass some kind of legislation to cap salaries for CEO's, companies would find loop holes to make up for the gap. In Google's case, they would deliver prostitutes and barrels of heroine. However, the chance that any kind if bill would ever see the light of day is slim to none.
  • Sorry, InlineV, but that's not even funny. A man was murdered. I don't think that is any company's idea of how to terminate an employee. As for legislation, if the idea of CEO salary caps ever caught steam, lawmakers would fear for their own lifestyles. In the US, the average "public servant" (not including schoolteachers) makes $93K (according to SimplyHired.com). By comparison, the average CEO's salary is $45K (SimplyHired.com). Wut? Remember that 95% of US corporations are small and medium companies. Congress cannot cap salaries on management in some companies while leaving others unaffected. Companies compete for top talent and start a bidding war to get them. They do need to consider more carefully the value in doing that. Like professional sports, the compensation package becomes public knowledge, and then everyone expects similar treatment. Soon, your 1st string team is loaded down with people who think they are worth what the company is willing to pay them.  
  • I was referring to compensation not termination. :)
  • Yeah, they'd just use gigantic stock grants, which is already done with the "CEO only makes $1 a year" scenarios.
  • Executive pay is out of control in the US, but in this case, cutting executive pay couldn't save all 18,000 employees. If a CEO dropped his pay from 20 million to 2 million, the most you could save would be about 350 jobs assuming a total compensation package of around $80,000 per employee. Need to remeber there is more to the cost of an employee than just their salary. Anyway, the point is, layoffs are inevitable and cutting executive pay can't fully offset it; not even close.
  • When you talk about pay, are you talking about salary, bonus, stock option? Which ones do you include in? At least in the tech world, a lot of the pay is incentive pay. The CEO pay is determined by the stock holders (presumably). Therefore, it is none of any outsiders' business to cap a CEO's pay? If you want to do so, buy up 50%+ of the company or convince your fellow stocker holders and make your own policy.
  • More than likely, CXO salary and incentives are managed by the board of directors. Buying that much stock might get you a seat on the board but you still only have one vote.
  • The CEO pay is determined by the board and they all sit on each others' boards.
  • That does happen occasionally, but under the Clayton Act, interlocking directorates is prohibited between direct competitors. Moreover, boards can be sued by shareholders if they fail to act in a company's best interest, including excessive compensation for managers. Directors have a fiduciary duty to the corporation and the owners (aka shareholders). I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but it's probably not a quid pro quo arrangement, as you suggest. More frequently, it's competition for top talent. Remember, too, that when heads-will-roll decisions are made (the kind that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars), it's the executives who take responsibility, not the guy answering the phone in customer service. And if an executive makes a decision that results in his resignation, he will have a much more difficult time finding a new job than the laid-off worker bee. Just food for thought...
  • Pay cuts for upper management would be fine if this was all about money, but in this situation it is about unnecessary and or redundant positions. It is unfortunate, but no company should be expected to employ someone when they serve no purpose for the company.
  • The other option is to keep the people and keep paying salaries to people who are not needed for you operation. Eventually companies that do this will start to fail because their cost structure is too high compared to the competition and a lot more people will lose their jobs. You can feel sympathy for the people who lost their jobs, but this is a neccessary process for all companies. After any period of growth, a company will become bloated and ineffiicient and has to evaluate their business.
  • Normally you'd be correct, but it seems like MS problem is lagging product innovation, not excessive cost structure.
  • "I think he's doing what needs to be done, and I suspect this will setup Microsoft to be more successful in mobile and cloud services." The word "Suspect" could also mean doubt, so some readers may get that you don't think this will setup Microsoft to be more successful
  • Uhhh... sure, if he didn't write any of the other words in the sentence to give the word context. Bizarre comment.
  • The fact is, Asha and X factory positions don't matter - Asha should have died long before MS bought Nokia, and X is just pure stupidity. Windows for desktops is just as irrelevant as Asha at this point in a world ruled by Mobile devices.
  • No mobile device is ever going to replace my desktop.
  • I know that and i am not saying it will. What I am saying is that not only is the definition of desktop and laptop changing to a hybrid between a mobile device, but the need for a "desktop only" os is also dissappearing.
  • It's no sci fi scene where you have a docking station with external monitor and keyboard/mouse on your desk where you put your mobile device when you need a desktop and when you dock your mobile device it will open in desktop view on the monitor. I'd be very surprised if the next version of Windows won't offer this possibility.
  • Just come back from a cycle tour where my 1020 did it all! Music, navigation, video editing, games, video on demand, communications....
    I can easily see the day where a desktop is replaced by a mobile device...
  • Your definition of "work" is obviously much different than mine.
  • Mobile devices are not powerful enough to replace a desktop.
  • But a dual core Windows Phone IS capable of Full HD video editing....
    Your logic doesn't quite add up :)
  • Can you run Crysis at 1080p on your dual or even quad core phones?
  • Crysis - work Pick one. Just kidding... Though I have to say my 1520 would work fine for 70% of my work if it could easily be docked with a larger screen and a proper keyboard. Only thing it wouldn't handle is electronic simulation with multisim and 3d modeling with solidworks... But I bet that capability is not.all that far off either.
  • Or MATLAB, or complex drafting software, or large scale accounting spreadsheets, or write a novel; the list goes on. A phone-sized device, at least  in the foreseeable future, cannot replace a desktop or equivalent device,
  • Of course there will always be those special cases where you need a special tool for the job but for basic computing like browsing the web, casual gaminga and office work modern mobile devices are powerful enough already and will be more than enough next year. All you need is a docking station with external monitor and input device to put your mobile device into and you have a powerfull enough replacement for old desktop.
  • Sure browsing the web and gaming on a tiny 6" screen is way more fun than on my 42" desktop screen.
  • It would be nice if it had the processor to do it and all you had to do was cast the device to a larger screen.
  • Not for a professional video editor. For me, somethng resembling a desktop will always be a necessity.
  • Not really.  You just need the horsepower and human interfaces.  If you have your big screens, transport controls, and plenty of storage and fast enough processing, I doubt you'd care if that was all plugged into a desktop or something the size of a stick of gum.  I mean, you don't actually use the physical computer case to do video editing, right?
  • I'm sure someone once said no desktop is ever going to replace my mainframe.
  • Most people here are too young to remember mainframes and dumb terminals.  Now they're merely called the cloud and thin client.  There was a really good reason why the PC was invented.  The cycle will continue...
  • Sometimes cycle returns like dumb terminals being released as Cheomebooks.
  • And look, mainframes are still extremely relevant.
  • I don't want a desktop with a mobile OS.  My work is not possible with a tablet or "hybrid" device.
  • @AlwaysHedged, I agree. There is no way a mobile device could ever replace a desktop setup in many work environments.
  • maybe not today but the future holds a possibility
  • Nothing wrong with dreaming...
  • I'm sorry, but your comment is just stupid. Can you install third party legacy application used in business like AutoCAD, ArchGIS, Finance department software and the like on ipads, kindle, android tablets, surface rt, cell phones, etc? NOOOOOOOOOO    
  • While this is true for some roles, offloading compute to a server cluster is best practice. And technically, ArcGIS was released for RT but I understand the point.
  • The whole concept of installing anything locally is rapidly coming to a close.  The UI will be streamed, similar to how Citrix works.  Amazon already has an interface for this and MS just released one.
  • They are targeting a more agile development cycle that focuses on more accountability and fewer committee checkpoints. The writing has been on the wall for years with the convergence of the Windows kernel for all platforms. For Microsoft, they are in a unique position. They now require fewer resources to develop products at scale because Microsoft products benefit from a converged kernel. This includes but is not limited to Windows, Windows Phone, Server, Azure, Xbox One and PixelSense. This will change the way that all software services companies build products in the future. Their competitors have been obsessed with custom platforms for different form factors for the sake of the UI and chipsets. By disconnecting the kernel from the form factor and the UI, Microsoft has secured a strategic advantage that has profound implications. Now, they can map out the future through one shell and support legacy applications and services through another without the duplication in resources and assets. For some reason, the obvious advantages to this approach has yet to be fully embraced and understood by analysts, pundits and their competitors but it is only a matter of time until they figure it out.
  • I don't see how you can say that MS has been successful at disconnecting the kernel from the form factor when there are a gazillion x86 apps that won't run on ARM,  Unless you're citing the obvious case that the x86 apps will run on any x86 screen size, or you really mean the kernel and not the whole OS (in which case it'd be "who cares" that 25% of the OS is cross-platform).
  • Technically speaking, x86 apps can run on ARM / RT but Microsoft has specifically restricted those from being installed. For most of them, the user experience would be terrible if they didn't. Further, this isn't just about applications. They share as much as 80% of the kernel between all of these platforms. If you can achieve the same objective by leveraging platforms between every existing and future form factor, what does that mean? It means that you have eliminated countless redundancies and it provides you with a development baseline. Technically, they could run RT on a phone platform and allow you to run x86 applications if they were so inclined. The shell is a modular component that plugs into a unified platform. It's really powerful stuff when you think about it.
  • Change is easy, as long as you aren't changing...
  • Yep. I wonder how the author would talk to those who just lost there jobs. I guarantee he would not use kind of language around em', unless he wants to get punched.
  • Curious, when you read reports on AP or whatever news outlet you prefer, do you say how "cold" their reporting on wars are? How they just reduce people and death to numbers? Seems like you're separating analysis from a human interest story. There is room for both, of course, but this article was the former.
  • Well said! Sometimes people react less vehemently to news of individuals blown to bits in the middle east compared to job cuts! Interesting times we live in!
  • The problem, I believe, is with the "not that significant" part. You never hear AP reports saying "an insignificant number of people, only 4, have died." I understand the article is looking at the issue from Microsoft's point of view, as if saying "this country has lost 4 soldiers and that's not going to change the outcome of the war because that loss is small" but people here are focused on those 4 lives lost.
  • +1.
  • Well said.
  • If you aren't changing, you are becoming obsolete.
  • Oh yeah, most of those are factory jobs. You know those people are swimming in money- so it's not as bad as it seems. Your articles have been an embarrasement the last few days, full of sensational headlines with inaccurate information (like creating panic that everyone needs to downgrade their 8.1 dev phone for Cyan) and now void of any compassion.
  • "Oh yeah, most of those are factory jobs. You know those people are swimming in money- so it's not as bad as it seems."
    I'm sorry, is Microsoft a charity organization? Should they employee people that are redundant to the company, hurt their bottom line and don't fit in with their corporate vision? This has nothing to do with how to feel about it. This about analyzing it from a business/investor's perspective. I'm proud of our articles and stand by them. Your criticism is ineffective. Regarding the "inaccurate information", it came from Microsoft directly. Take it up with them.
  • Yes right its about business. Even Bank of America had to give VRS to their employees when they merged with Merilinge. Same happened to CFC company all over the world when bank of America acquired them. We are getting emotional for the employees. Good that's human. But this is how corporate world functions. We have to accept it. We may be also one day a part of it never know.
  • I agree Daniel.  The comments here about this situation are bordering on absurd.  Microsoft is a massive company that is publicly traded which just completed a large acquisition.  Of course layoffs are a result.  They almost always are with acquisitions.
  • agreed, but even if they weren't publicly traded and merged with another company, they will eliminate redundant positions.
  • Tell him Daniel
  • Cold blooded business decisions. May be so and may be inevitable. But it makes many people sick that former bosses of Nokia and Microsoft who are responsible for the companies' situation left with millions or even billions in their pocket and others have to pay the bill.
  • Indeed, although Nokia's fate was determined quite some time ago, imo. It was just a matter of time before something serious had to happen to them in terms of layoffs. Microsoft is still a really good employer. They're well respected in the Seattle region, do a lot for the community and are well liked by their employees. They still have a large work force but changing times (and acquisitions) unfortunately require these cuts. Those at the top always feel less pain, no doubt.
  • That's what happens when you are an employee and not the boss. You are hired to do a specific task for as long as the company you to do that task. How long would you keep paying a person in your own business if you knew you didn't really need their services anymore? I agree about the millions in compensation the high level execs get. I don't think that level of compensation is really needed to keep them around. However, if you think the compensation is excessive, it is the shareholders who are being ripped off and not the employees.
  • "I'm proud of our articles and stand by them. Your criticism is ineffective. " Boils down to: "Just because I'm being an offensive asshole, doesn't mean I have to change."
  • Nope. What it means if people make legitimate and coherent criticisms, I'm open to considering the argument. In fact, our site has often changed and developed around user needs and feedback over the years. This is not one of those cases. It is simply one person's opinion, a person who I don't know. One person who has not provided - in my opinion - sufficient evidence to support their position. Even more, I disagree with their whole premise. This is an editorial and as such, it will stir debate since much of it is opinion. This is expected and I'm not here to publish things that have 100% acceptance from the community. But sure, at the end of the day? What I say goes. Part of the job of being the boss and I'm not here to apologize for it.
  • What I say goes? I have heard that before. How delightful it must be then, to have you as a boss. That drivel might apply to your work place, but do you honestly think your readers want you hear it said to them?
  • Dean, your personal attacks are getting old. You don't know me, you don't know what it is like to work "for me" (I would phrase it as "with me", instead). Likewise, I don't know you either, so how am I to take anything you say seriously? Let's just cut the crap. You don't like this article. Fine. Leave it at that and let's move on, because this is going nowhere fast. If you want to keep making this about me, you can do that elsewhere.
  • Ok. What you don't get is that, my comments about you is the way you treat other peoples opinions on the site. If they say something contrary to you, it is you on the attack. You hate to hear responses against your own, or if you don't, it sure sounds that way. Read your own responses from time to time, you'll see what I mean and they make you sound like you're around 15 years old which I'm sure you are not. I really don't want you to think I am attacking you at all. I am sure you are a nice chap, but your writings and attitude to others are really sycophantic. I really don't mind the article itself, it's fine. Alright, moved on. Thanks for the advice.
  • I beg to differ, Mr. McCrae. I've been reading articles and comments on WP Central for quite some time and I have found the majority of Daniel's responses to be respectful. He may be quite blunt at times, but I don't know that I've ever seen him maliciously attack someone for their comemnts. I have seen somewhat sarcastic remarks at times to what I would classify as stupid comments, but even those are more blunt than rude. When it comes to the written word, it's often impossible to see where the writer is coming from without the voice inflections and body language. Maybe I just prefer to see the positive in most people and read their words with that perspective.
  • Where's the "like" button? I'd work for you in a heartbeat, Daniel. I appreciate honesty.
  • the "inaccurate information", it came from Microsoft directly. Take it up with them.
    Yeah, that about reflects the level of "journalism" at WPCentral.
  • ...and putting things in "quotes" does not make an argument. It is a nice, cheap shot though. (For the record, none of us call ourselves journalists anyway. That's your labeling, not ours). We did take the time to reach out to Microsoft and get a direct response about the situation before writing anything on the topic. But pray tell, since you are a "journalist" what would you have done differently? Put words in Microsoft's mouth? Call them liars? I'm generally curious. The information we provided was not inaccurate. Confusing, maybe, but considering all the mitigating factors and mixed messages, that is to be understood. Throw in the fact the many of you don't even read the entire article, sure I can see how people don't get it. I can't control all of that.
  • My fave was when you reported that they were getting rid of the back button...because users weren't using it even though, as you said, you were kind of big users of it. I would like to know how a user would use any app in Windows Phone without using the back button. Getting rid of the back button would require every single app to be rewritten. You didn't put much critical thought into that one. I think you mean "genuinely" curious, not "generally" curious. But I know you and your writers have some problems grasping English. (I also think you meant "nice cheap shot", sans comma, as the way you wrote it makes it sound like I made a shot that was both nice and cheap.) I am not a journalist and never claimed to be, but I think generally (see what I did there?) journalists rely on more than one source and try not to just post verbatim what one source says.
  • Okay, now you're grammar picking...in comments and bringing up unrelated topics. My patience for such tactics in arguing is not very high. But you seem to enjoy such childish criticisms. Rely on more than one source? So besides Microsoft, who should we have asked about the Preview for Developers being halted and the bug with BitLocker? Regardless, as I've mentioned, we're not journalists, not trained as journalists and don't call ourselves such.
  • Rawr, easy Tiger. You're the one who said putting things in quotes doesn't make an argument, even though (i) that wasn't the argument and (ii) the rest of my comment was the argument you were writing off. I don't think my criticisms are childish, but I think your site's writing is. The horrible post about the back button isn't unrelated to the fact that your site's reporting is awful, which is the point I was and am making. As far as more than one source, there is more than one person at Microsoft. People reporting on Microsoft generally foster relationships throughout the organization and double-check. Imagine somebody reporting on the U.S. government and then just repeating whatever comes out of the White House as the final word. We agree on one thing: you're not journalists. If you've lost your patience for my "tactics" (there I go again), just go away.
     
  • "As far as more than one source, there is more than one person at Microsoft."
    Wow. You're a terrible adviser on this reporting/journalist thing. We didn't speak to just "someone" at Microsoft but their official comms team who represents the Windows Phone division--there is no one else who officially goes on the record for them on this topic. That is how this works, but clearly now I'm the one dealing with an amateur. Seriously, thanks for the career advice. /s Regarding our articles on WPCentral and your thinking they're childish, you are free to get your Windows Phone news elsewhere (hint: there is no where else). We're going to keep going, keep growing and still remain the largest Windows Phone site on the planet, despite your, ahem, lame attempts to take us down a notch.
  • Your only source is the "official comms team." See my previous comment about reporting just based on what the official word is. Put some effort into the work, don't just regurgitate what the corporate line is. See my previous example on reporting on the U.S. government. "Well, gee, boss, the government told us that Snowden was lying, so I guess that's what we'll write." Get somebody off the record on background. I'm not trying to take you down. But since you're kind of the only game in town it would be nice if reading the articles didn't make me cringe. If you want a laundry list, I got one, but it doesn't look like you're looking for feedback, you just want to wrap content from Microsoft's communications team in some ads and shove them down people's throats and then defend that as being something worthy of value.
  • Man you are thick! Comparing the revalations of Snowden to a bug causing problems for a phone update, that is truly mind blowing lol! I would like to hear your laundry list actually, im sure it would be entertaining :D
  • Why the ad hominem? Who made that comparison? My point was that it's really a lazy job of writing to just repeat what the PR department says and reprint what's already on the Microsoft blogs and then throw up your hands as if that's the limit to what one can do.
  • I don't think you'll convince him. Remember, Daniel has a"what I say goes" kind of motto :-)
  • You may be the biggest Windows Phone nees site, but your not the only one and clearly not the best.
  • I'm sure you'll be as cold, analytical and bottom line about yourself and your family, the day you eventually get kicked out of your own occupation.
  • "I'm sure you'll be as cold, analytical and bottom line about yourself and your family, the day you eventually get kicked out of your own occupation."
    Making this about me, now? What do you know of my life and what I've been through to presume anything about what I have experienced? I am adult enough though to separate emotion from analysis. This is an editorial, not a compassion piece. When I worked in medical, you could either get emotionally attached to your patients, lose sleep and generally feel bad all the time, or you could have empathy but forge on to do your job. If you can't separate emotion from real life and decision making, then you will have a tough time in this world.
  • Well Daniel it is about your responses and comment on the material you put out, which is pretty relevant. By all means separate emotion from analysis, if that is important to you here. I don't need to know anything about your life history to comment on the tone of your writing, in the same way you comment on other peoples writing. Right? Since I am undoubtedly way older than you, perhaps it is you who will have a tough time in this life.
  • Perhaps you have opinion and I can have mine. Agree to disagree.
  • Man! Not even those employees who have been laid off would be feeling so hurt (I want to say butt hurt) as you. I am absolutely sure that all those Nokia employees knew what was in store for them as soon as the acquisition happened, maybe even earlier. It is absolutely inevitable. If all you want to be is "Microsoft is so bad" "wpc is the evil guy" then you, sir, are a complete A-hole. If, however, you wanted to say something sensible, then this was not it.
  • You sound like a really smart guy.
  • Dean - As the author of this post here's what I have to say about that: chrisumiastowski.com/getting-fired-3-5-years-later
  • Chris thanks for the link, I will take a look.
  • Awesome autobiographical story, Chris. I was laid off in 2005 when my employer decided to outsource IT services. I chose to freelance and homeschool my gifted daughter. Nine years later, I can't imagine ever working for one boss again. I make enough to meet our needs (working about 20 hours per week), enjoy working while everyone else sleeps, and my daughter and I get to spend Wednesday afternoons petting kitties at a local cat shelter. I avoided the idea of going independent for years, thinking I'd have to constantly sell myself. Due to referrals, recommendations, and repeat business, I haven't answered an RFP in a very long time. It's awesome to be ME! One thing that most articles about the Microsoft layoffs note, but fail to emphasize, is that the layoffs will happen over the next 12 months. One would think that if one is cognizant that they are going to be affected, they will, like you, consider their options. Nadella, Elop, and the HR department will certainly make efforts to move people to other vacancies that occur in the normal process of attrition. I'm sure it would be less costly to provide additional training for a current employee than to onboard a new one when the severance is added to costs that can be avoided.  
  • You've gotta admit, some of the articles published in the last few days have been a little sensationalist. The Cyan downgrade one in particular....
    Also, one of your UK based editors needs to be shadowed before releasing articles. He is amateur to the extreme - both in terms of writing and content. More importantly, he releases articles that tell us to turn our back on third party app clients in order to show support for official app developers who FINALLY release their (shoddy) apps on Windows Phone. I think he forgets just how important third party devs have been to this platforms growth!
  • No, I don't have to admit it. What I see are a few people who have different opinions on things. What is "sensationalist" is subjective and open to interpretation, so although you may feel that way (which is fine) not everyone agrees. Do you know how many angry emails we have received over the last few days over our content and/or headlines? Zero. How many angry tweets have I personally received? None.
  • I am sorry but, "is Microsoft a charity organization?" is a tad bit callous. You are the editor in chief, you really should not be going back and forth with commenters here. It serves no purpose. Of course, it is understood that Microsoft had to do this, afterall they are not a charity organization, but it is still a painful pill for some to swallow. It hurts. There is nothing wrong with poeple wanting to empathize with those that have lost their jobs. Nothing at all. Let them voice their dissatisfaction. Let them voice their anger. And, let other commenters counter if they want. You should be above that.  We understand that you love Microsoft but at times like this, a little more empathy is allowed. Heck, some of those people that lost their jobs are probably WPcentral readers! Just my two cents. 
  • More like $20 than 2 cents. Well said.
  • But why is it about analyzing it from a business/investor's perspective?  Isn't this site geared towards the consumer and tech-enthusiast, or is this Business Week or WSJ?  
  • It is not a bad thing when consumers, who would rarely read Business Week or the WSJ, are exposed to a pragmatic viewpoint, thus giving them the opportunity to climb down off the ledge.
  • Totally, I feel like am reading CNet
  • Microsoft is in a business of numbers and percentages, not ethics or charity. As the owner of a technology-releated business myself (Mobile app development), it is common sense to cut unnecessary products. With product cuts come employee cuts.
  • I was talking about the headlines.
  • They were pretty clear that only people who needed to downgrade were those whose phones had bitlocker enabled from IT, not consumer. Just because you can't read articles past first two sentences doesn't mean they're doing anything wrong. As for this headline, it's not sensationalist. If anything its putting things in business perspective, which many seem to forget or ignore.
  • No company owes anyone a job, much to the dismay of the modern day entitled.
  • Corporate mismanagement rarely costs the richest anything at all. Just look at the 2008 financial collapse!
    It's the little people at the bottom - the factory workers in poor countries who in this instance had a steady job with Nokia until Microsoft messed things up.
    Nokia should have gone down the Android route - I know that now. They were a company with social conscience and principles....and a vast part of their company has been subsumed by a monolith of corporate America (which is itself a most socially unjust country).
    I feel sorry for Nokia
  • Grow up. I have been a victim of AOL layoffs as well as Cox/Manheim and another smaller company. It's life, get over it.
  • @dby2011, do you believe people are "entitled" to paychecks when their talents are not needed to further company goals? It is possible to have compassion, yet present information devoid of teardrops, hyperbole, and derogatory remarks about a business that has found it necessary to align its workforce with its work. If it does not, then its called government and those entitled people are known as welfare recipients. As for inaccuracies on the WPC website, I'm probably naive. If you want to enlighten me, please provide links to relevant, trustworthy information to the contrary.  
  • Think I can guess where you slot into the corporate ecosystem...
  • Guess all you like. I've studied economics and agree with Margaret Thatcher, "The trouble with socialism is that, eventually, you run out of other people's money." As for the corporate ecosystem, I don't "slot in" anywhere. I'm an independent contractor helping others who are starting and running their own small businesses. Where do you "slot in," Dean? Are you productive? Or are you a victim?
  • A commenter on Engadget made a good point: at the very least, Microsoft should waive the laid off former Nokians' non-compete agreements, so they could find other jobs..
     
  • I'm pretty sure they are automatically waived if laid off. That only works when you voluntarily leave to prevent poaching by other companies, it's not meant to be a death sentence if they lay you off.
  • Not necessarily. The girl I'm currently seeing was a hot shot marketer and visual design pro for a luxury hotel chain in NYC.   The whole company was just acquired and sold off in pieces, and her whole department was let go.   Her, and all the top people that weren't kept, were *reminded* that their severance pay (which was meh), was dependent on abiding by their contractual non-compete agreements that they had signed back when upon initial hiring. It's still a thing, even more so, I'm assuming in tech companies.  But the practice, frankly, is disgusting.
  • Interesting, thanks for the perspective. I think in this case, many of the jobs are factory work and as such, won't be part of that. However, I think the higher up you go in the company, the more likely you are to have such restrictions. On the other hand, the higher up you go, the better the severance package, so perhaps there is a trade off.
  • That's a unscrupulous practice...that's not allowed in Europe save for very very specific reasons, none of which is applicable to these workers. The moment Microsoft breaks their contract with them, the workers are free of their contractual obligations.
     
  • Yeah, the work laws are more stringent in Europe, but here in the States, it's still a thing. The fact that it's even considered normal practice makes me want to go take a shower.  It's an reprehensible practice.   You're basically firing someone, and telling them, 'by the way, you also can't get another job in your field of expertise for an extended period of time, because... $$$'
  • No. When you for someone there is no non-compete. If your laid off it makes perfect sense because you are reviewing severance pay. You can always forfeit the severance package and avoid the non-compete. It's a choice.
  • A non-compete has almost zero chance of holding up in court if the employer discharged the employee.
  • Does a non-compete agreement have effect when you've been laid off, obviously I guess this depends on wording of the agreement.  But in most situations, I would think it is used to make sure you don't quit and go to a competitor or do something stupid intentionally to get yourself fired so you can go to the competition.  I would think a layoff is treated differently.
  • Non-competes are un-enforcable in many states.
     
  • Depends on the agreement, it's a contract. It could have pink fluffy bunnies in it.
  • Please Vote To Save MixRadio Link: http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/suggestions/6184727-do-not-cancel-mixradio-on-windows-phone-8-8-1
  • It's not going anywhere
  • Its Being Sold, its GOING outside the control of microsoft to a third party buyer. Who can do whatever they want to the service and even kill it or bring it to ios & android (this is the worst possibility) or even introduce adverts.
  • Going to iOS and Android is one of the best things that can happen to Mix Radio, for their survival long term.   They sure won't be able to last on the 3% WP share. (And even more so, since I'll probably be buying an iPhone 6 this Fall.)
  • How will it benefit in the long run genius? Mixradio is the best service on windows phone, it has the edge over ios & android and u want to give it away?? How old are u? The service being exclusive to windows phone will help in increasing the WP market share (and by the way that 3% is only in the saturated market of the u.s. outside the u.s its the second most used operating system and in some countries even the first)  It gives a reason for potential customers to come to WP.  And just because u r planning to move to ios u want it available there?? i got two words for u : FUCK OFF
  • The benefit will be keeping it alive by creating more revenue through being on different platforms so you can continue to use the beloved service, genius. Do you honestly believe it's earning enough to operate at a profit being exclusive to Windows Phone? Dream on. Its yet another component they inherited from Nokia that's going to be a drag on the bottom line. Don't you think if it was making money and selling hardware for them they'd keep it? Its obviously a loss leader or they wouldn't be doing this. There are plenty of other streaming and subscription services on iOS and Android so what makes you think this is such a huge draw for Windows Phone? You're ascribing way more credit to this than it merits.
  • We appreciate your help.
  • Next thing we're going to see is that Apple, innovative Apple has invented mixradio lol
  • I don't think they are scrapping off mixradio...they are only selling off the service, just as Nokia devices was sold to Microsoft by Nokia. Whether it will continue to be supported after the sell off is naturally not in Microsoft's hands. So as far as I understand this suggestion is DOA, as folks in the US would say.
  • Thats the thing, my request is that microsoft keeps it alive and does not sell it, they dont even need to actively develop it just dont sell it. And a added bonus is that microsoft gets the revenue from signups on to the services. Xbox music sucks in India where as Mixradio is great.
  • Yes XBM sucks in India. Yes MixRadio works good in India(it even has local music in its collection). Yes, mixradio needs to be alive. But no, microsoft cannot and would not just keep with them a service which overlaps with an existing service. That would also be detrimental for mixradio, because obviously microsof would give XBM preference over mixradio for any new licensing deals and features. I also assume that having seperate teams for two similar services would not be completely viable, so XBM would ultimately be incharge of mixradio. If they just stop actively developing mixradio, it would be what zune is now-dead. Not even you would be using the service then. So selling it off makes sense, though it would have been easier if microsoft had not aquired mixradio from nokia in the first place, but they had to, as it was a part of nokia devices.
  • Ya but there is no gurantee that who ever buys MixRadio will keep it alive as it is now. If microsoft hears a strong enough support from the Windows Phone Community, they may consider leasing it to a third party with agreements in place as to not ditch windows phones, provide updates & critical fix, keep the service running, and u know all the other benefits, But for all that to happen the Winows Phone Community need to let microsoft know that there is a strong intrest for this service. There is no saying in what the new owners will do the service, they may be good or bad. We wont know till take over the service, but at that time it will be too late for microsoft to do anything. Then we will have to live with it (however it is) or without it.
  • "they dont need to actively develop". Are u serious?
    and why would a third party buy it if it wants to close it?
    xbox music is not yet available in India and u say it sucks?
  • if it aint broke don't fix it. They may only need to update it when there is a system update (eg. GDR's) or a system refresh (eg. Windows Phone 8.1 Update, where there is a major change). A third party may buy it in order to merge it with their services (This cannot be said as of now, its too early).  Yes i say it sucks beacuse, what good is it to me if its not available in my region??? and dont get me started on how bad the xbox music app is (i hope u already know this one). whereas Mixradio is available in my region, it works beautifully and i have lifetime unlimited music downloads. so why shouldn't i try to save it when its the second best thing of WP??  (Accoding to me anyway, 1st is the Fludity of Wp).
  • developing n fixing are very different. if Microsoft keeps it and does not improve upon it don't u think it would loose its appeal? On the other hand if some third party acquires it and say even mergers it with some other service like u say (personally i doubt that) at least they would work on making it better or adding new things. Any company wont provide same service under two different brands specially if one is more limited than the other. the only solution is to sell or merge and since merging is not an option Microsoft does the next best thing.
  • Please read my above comment which was addressed to a "Tummala Rahul". 
  • Or, alternatively, simply use Xbox Music. It's built into the OS for your convenience.
  • Xbox Music Sucks balls, even the Xbox Muisc app is horrible. MixRadio is way, way better than that SuckBox.
  • Have you used it, recently?  Calling it 'a convenience' is like saying that cancer also helps you lose weight as a byproduct.
  • Yea, I have, it's been giving me better mixes than Mixradio lately.
  • Actually, as of WP8.1, Xbox Music is no longer built into the OS ;) And apparently, by the reports of those who use it (I'm not among them) it still sucks .
  • Wow. I'm reading the comments about the Microsoft layoffs and suddenly teleported to the article about Mix Radio. How did that happen?
  • What percentage from the MS troll group will be laid off I wonder...
  • Oh you WPC ass kisser
  • Microsoft's job cuts shouldn't be as big as they seem to be for Microsoft and wpcentral.... But yes... It is too big for those employees. If wpcenteal fires Chris... It's nothing to worry for Daniel.... but may be for Chris.. But again if Chris is a part time writer.... he too wouldn't mind it
  • LOVE the headline!  Stay classy, WPC.
  • I enjoyed the headline too.
  • Worst article I've read in a long while.. 18000 people loosing there job is not small. 5000 is also not small. If Microsoft would not had went to screw up Nokia those jobs would still be there. Just a typical corporate psychopath speech.
  • You're putting emotion into an argument where there should be none, at least not for this article. Microsoft is a company. They cannot employee people for the sake of keeping you happy and sleeping well at night. If you don't like the negative aspects of capitalism, then stop supporting it.
  • Well, according to the Supreme Court, corporations are people now with religious freedom.  So Microsoft's not just a company, it's a person...:D
  • Glad to hear Supreme Court agrees with Romney! :P
  • Under the law, corporation have always been people. They can make contracts and be sued just like individuals. And many laws that apply to people also applies to corporations. As SCOTUS stated (paraphrasing), corporations are the public face of their shareholders and directors. It is not unreasonable to expect that their actions reflect the rights and beliefs of those individuals. But really, mdram, that is irrelevant to the topic at hand.
  • Actually no. Had Microsoft not purchased that piece of Nokia, Nokia likely would have had to file for bankruptcy and many more would have lost their jobs without the generous severance packages Microsoft is going to pay out. I think fundamental business classes should be required for everyone, because unfortunately a lot of these comments indicate a lit of you have no clue what it is to operate a business or the fundamentals of economics. So sad.
  • I'm not putting only emotions in the answer. Maybe a but too much but the real thing at the end is money. And all this operations are always made to make the company to save money thus the investors are happy and basically the rich investors are getting richer while the poor worker are loosing their jobs. I've never supported the corporate capitalism and I never will. Capitalism is good but it needs some control otherwise the money distribution American style will start happeng everywhere. And saying that Nokia would had failed makes very little sense. Watching the numbers of those times are telling the story. No need for an economics degree to see it. Probably the born-dead N9 sold more than the wp lumia 800. So for the litte data we have the MeeGo project would have probably done much better than wp. And I'm speaking about the world outside the US. Or even only Europe. If wp has almost 10% of share in Europe is ONLY because of Nokia. So from that it is easy to see that they would have now more than 10% of the market with their own operative system. Then the rest is a bit fanboysm but that's my opinion. Nobody will ever know. I'm just very sad that Nokia ended up trashing MeeGo that in my opinion was, and still is, the best mobile OS ever made. Next time I'll just keep supporting Finland and Europe buying a Jolla. I'll for sure miss wp because at the end is not that bad and the camera module that Nokia invented are still something that I would really like to have in my phone.
  • I am Android Hater... But in business perspective, If nokia had not choosen Windows Phone and Had gone with Android after symbian, they would not have miserably fail like this, but just remain as market leader.  
  • Nobody in their right mind can argue that the WP-exclusive strategy was anything but a complete catastrophic failure for Nokia as a mobile phone maker. Nokia had other options they could have tried: stick with Qt+Symbian+Meego. Do Android. Fork Android. Do WP in conjunction with other platforms. It's hard to imagine any of those strategies leading to as complete a collapse as Nokia had.
  • Giovanni Marin stated, "If Microsoft would not had went to screw up Nokia those jobs would still be there." Of course, you're right. Nokia could continue losing money forever and, as long as they delivered paychecks to the people, the bank account would be magically refilled to cover those checks. I believe Americans are the most compassionate people on the planet. I know many will disagree, but for decades, we've provided billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid to other nations. What enables us to do that is capitalism. It is fortunate that, although many sectors of our economy are suffering, the job forecast for the tech sector is strong and will get even stronger in the coming years. So its doubtful that those who are being laid off will be unemployed for very long. Despite the tech critics, having Microsoft on your resume still makes a good impression. On a personal note - after 6 years of working as a sys admin that required I work 20 hour days to keep things on track, being laid off was the best thing that ever happened to me. I was totally burned out and decided to re-assess career choices. I started freelancing, went back to school for some new skills, and have never had a better "job." Its been nine years now and I get to choose which projects are interesting and challenging to me. There's more to life than a bi-weekly paycheck.  
  • The lay off people will join the shoes of google Android or Apple. I don't know. Lets see if they can find a good secure job for themselves.
  • As an FYI, severance costs are going to average about $89,000 per person let go. That's damn generous on the average.
  • "So that leaves about 5,500 core Microsoft job cuts, or about 5% of the company's workforce excluding Nokia. This really doesn't amount to much of a cut, does it?" While the article is otherwise thoughtful, this statement seriously undermines the overall value of what is said. Having worked at MS during the previous job cuts (roughly 5,900 folks lost their jobs), I can say this: It absolutely does amount to something more significant than this quote suggests. Heck, consider that previous to this job cut, the 2009 reduction was the largest in Microsoft's history. This quote reduces the actual impact that this will have on those involved. Going on later in the article to say "Naturally, we wish all affected employees the best possible outcome." doesn't change the fact that the tone in the first quote is rather cold and not appreciated by myself and others who I work with and are ex-MS who read this article. Poor form on that count, in my opinion. <Edit> I do realize that MS can-and-will make cuts, where necessary. I just don't like the "feeling" that I got when I read that line. It seems to trivialize this a fair bit to justify the actions being taken.</edit>
  • THIS.
  • Do their actions require justification? No. Were you or others planning to die at your desks and be buried next to the parking lot? I suspect not.
  • "Do their actions require justification? No. Were you or others planning to die at your desks and be buried next to the parking lot? I suspect not." Can you clarify your point? I really don't get what you're trying to get at here.
  • Nothing is forever yet all this whining implies MS should have employed them til the day they died. Do employees expect to work at one place until they die?
    Fired today or 20 years from now... Bitch, bitch, bitch
  • So you think that I'm complaining about the fact that people are being released from MS? I'll clear that up right now: Not a chance. Did you read what I tagged on at the end of my original post? I'll repeat it here: "<Edit> I do realize that MS can-and-will make cuts, where necessary. I just don't like the "feeling" that I got when I read that line. It seems to trivialize this a fair bit to justify the actions being taken.</edit>" My comment was-and-is focused on a quote that trivializes the impact of the job cuts on those impacted.
  • So your problem is, "it trivializes?"
    It is trivial. It's trivial to everyone on the planet except the people being laid off. Boohoo, WPC supposed to host a support group? Jobs come, go, and if you're good or lucky they come again.
    In the meantime, there are actual currently destitute people more deserving of my sympathy and help.
  • With that post, you have made it clear that you're not interested in a dialog, only in being right. We can only disagree on this topic so there is no point in responding to you any longer.
  • I can empathize with your point, GrayWolf. I'd like to give the author the benefit of the doubt and assume it was badly worded with the intention of saying that it's not a massive reduction in force as some headlines have made it out to be. It is certainly very personal and painful to those affected, but will not have a crippling effect on the economies of the regions in which layoffs are suffered, such as those that occurred in living memory at assembly plants like Boeing, General Motors, etc. As one who has been RIF'd more than a few times (I either pick sinking ships or I've just been through more up/down economic cycles than most - that happens as one piles on decades of living), I hope those affected will soon see their current situation as a blessing in disguise. One that allows them opportunities to try new things, grow as people, and change their lives for the better. Staying in one place too long causes us to suffer group think and stagnate. At one time or another, we've probably all been dissatisfied with our work, but lacked the energy to seek something else. It was easier just surviving the days, weeks, months, years right where we were.
  • Nicely written.
  • If he lived by that statement he'll always be one step ahead.
  • 14% of MS staffed being axed is Big, no matter how much of a blind twist you put on the situation. For the ones getting laid off, it really does suck and hopefully they move onto better things.
  • Mathematically I can also say that 50% of the Nokia division is being axed and 5% of MSFT.  Makes a lot more sense in those terms.
  • And overall, 14%. Nokia division is a part of MS, after all. :) Cuts always impact certain divisions more than others, of course, and some parts not at all. Point being - yes, it makes sense in those terms, but it also makes sense to look at it as a share of the overall work force, and 14% is fairly significant. Necessary, not un expected, but still quite significant. IMO, that is. :) I guess one could argue that the cuts are exactly as large as they are. :P
  • Remember Microsoft absorbed around 30,000 Nokia employees as part of the merger.  So this is just trimming things down, but it is still a bigger MS than before the Nokia purchase.
  • For the love of God, stop with this stupid topic already, I feel like I'm being brain washed here!! Won't be surprised if I dream about it tonight.. These two days have been nothing more than layoffs, people losing jobs, etc.. WE GET IT. Move on!
  • The company I work for hires and fires all the time for individual performance reasons. And everyone that gets fired finds another job pretty quickly. Unemployment for those with a. Education and skills, particularly technical skills, is very low. Most of these folks will have no problem finding a job, will get to double dip with their severance package, and will actually be much better off in the end.
  • I just hope that the Xbox music team is part if the people that are going to be out.
  • Nah, I'm starting to like them.
  • I don't. It's better having a music app than not having one
  • No big deal? Tell that into the face off the people that will be fired. The title off this article isn't well thought through.
  • None of it is.
  • "No big deal? "
    You're confusing things. The argument of the article is the cuts aren't that large when you factor in what was going to happen anyway to those jobs had Nokia stayed independent. No where does it say "no big deal" that is your mis-reading of the headline.
  • I would put it a bit differently. The cuts on the Nokia side are or would have been large, regardsless of who owns the division. I.e. even if it was going to happen anyway, they are still large for the Nokia division, and quite large for MS overall. :)
     
  • I find it humorous when people reply to self-manufactured quotes.
  • This was expected, but the ratio does not seem to look right. Execution wise, Nokia did a better job than MS team (xbox and surface). The Asha's and Nokia X were far more stable at release than surface. I also tend to think that they made more money and profit than surface. There is that feeling that the useful people are being let go and the useless ones remain. :-(
  • I stopped reading after the second paragraph.
  • It's also important to remember that just because a 'job' is cut doesn't mean the person is let go. They be transferred into a new 'job'. Lockheed cut 3000 jobs when the F-22 program was shut down but all of the people retained their employment.
  • Won't someone think of the children!
  • Fire all the Indians!
  • Well, this is racist..
  • India is a nation not a race.
  • No, you SJW's call the racial Indians, "Native Americans."
  • It may not be a big deal but it's the talk of the town in Redmond today. A lot of microsofties came into work later today. Traffic was backed up aroudn the campus way later than usual. There is certainly a tense feel in the air on campus today. 
  • Just to clarify, nowhere was it said "no big deal". The headline is referring to the size of the cuts once you take into consideration the acquisition and what would have happened to those jobs anyway. "No big deal" is a moral, value judgment. "Not big" is a quantitative one.
  • Yes I know thats why I was saying that it isn't as big of a deal as people are making it out to be because the size of the cuts arent that big in comparison to the size of the company because while 18,000 jobs are being cut, it is out of over 100,000 employees. It's just an observation that although it isn't that big of a deal it is still a little tense on campus today and the announcement is the talk of the town considering Redmond wouldn't be nearly as big as it is today without Microsoft. Any major announcement from Microsoft becomes a talking point because if you live in Redmond at least half of your friends and family work there. :P 
  • It would be better Microsoft prefer longer release updates its wp 8.1, from the release lumia products that can not be bought consumer, show a commitment to give users a proven faithful to remain Pakao WindowsPhone, Remember the other competitors had run away while still relying windowsphone coming soon.. wait,, will not be overtaken by capital only said that word,,, I windowsphone users who may represent another user "edgy " with microsoft habit that feels far between product releases with news about products trsebut,. Microsoft hopefully going forward lBH mndengar user should sound
  • Nothing wrong with the content of the article. This is business. Business is driven by profit and loss. I kind of chuckled at the headline though, as it made me think of some sort of The Onion Report: "The Microsoft job cuts are necessary and really aren't as big as they seem" - Says Man with a Job... LOL Not to make light of job loss, but the move my MS made me think of this: http://www.quickmeme.com/img/b1/b193ead002dc7d7943c0fc478c8834e6d9674c26...
  • The sleeping beast is awakening.....;)
  • ....spoken like a true fanboy or company shill (take your pick). This is a move to increase stock prices and nothing more. The Nokia cuts are logical and expected but the rest are just a new CEO wanting to boost the number on NASDAQ at the expense of long term profitability, innovation, and productivity. I thought the guy was a bad choice from the start and every move he has made has confirmed my suspicions. BTW, only a fanboy or the truly delusional would ever mention RIM in any discusssion of smart business moves. Even early the the last decade they were sowing the seeds of their own collapse. You insult everyone here and embarrrass yourself by posting such assinine drivel but somehow I don't think you care.....
  • "but somehow I don't think you care....."
    About your opinion? Not particularly, especially when I read all of your comments on our site. As far as I'm concerned, you're just the town crank who complains about everything we write. So yeah, your opinion doesn't count here, in fact I actively disregard and chuckle at everything you write. Other people though, they have my consideration when they comment.
  • never seen an editor getting so personal with a reader... :P
    love this site
  • +520 LOL! In all seriousness, I've to admit its true. They're passionate editors, not just pro bloggers. Many a times I agree and sometimes disagree with Daniel but, above all, I like that they care about readers' view or at least read them, not sure how useful it's to them but they do. And I'm pretty sure Dan's reading this as well while he won't reply anyway. I'm not mature enough to understand these high-level topics but its fun to read, especially the comments, and these are among the reasons which keeps me coming back to WPC over and over again...
  • I'll reply ;)
  • You rock Daniel, just as someone told below. *thumbs-up*
  • Now you made me laugh, thanks...
  • My pleasure :)
  • Ha Ha!! Daniel Rocks!!
  • Wow, all of his comments? That's some dedication, right there.
  • I see both sides of the story
  • I am tired of these stupid comments. What is the job of a CEO? IT IS TO MAKE MONEY FOR THE SHARE HOLDERS. It is as simple as that. If you don't like it or understand it, you shouldn't be commenting on the subject. The reason companies want to grow is not for you or me to have a job or better service and or better products but to make money for the people who have invested in the company. They bought Nokia because they wanted to make money for the investors and they are trimming work force for the same reason. If this concept is so hard to understand by so many here, may be they should all take their 401k / retirement funds from the stocks and put it in non profits.
  • Hey, you're not the only one Daniel thinks is a town crank. There are plenty here, myself included I suspect. Dan does not like anyone to disagree with him, or use the comments section for what it is evidently meant for, if it goes against WPC or his own view of the world. Interesting you choose the word Drivel, I used it earlier on as well.
  • If it helps ms then say so but don't say 18000 jobs lost is no big deal just because you are not one of them.
  • Well, may be small amount of workforce but every single number is a human...
  • Lol just watch all the fired employees start working for Apple, Samsung, or Google. Look. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Man at alot of the immature naive comments some people are posting. Calling the author cold for merely taking his emotions out of the post is insane. How does anyone know How he really feels? It's these guys job to post content without as much emotion as possible.
    To some complaints that claim firing Nokia employees over Microsoft employees is the wrong choice because Nokia did so much better. Guess what, if Nokia was doing so much better than Microsoft then how the hell did Nokia get into the bleeding wound it became? Sure the immature naive ones will blame Microsoft for Nokia troubles but the truth is Nokia themselves admitted they fell behind because they didn't react quick enough to the changing technology. They tried to ride their fame too long without change and it destroyed them as a hardware company. Guys what Nokia still lives on and I promise you, they will succeed like they always have. Look at Nokias history, they changed business focus many many times over the years. Get over it, they failed to keep momentum in hardware so they have shifted their business to set themselves back up for success.
    The reality of the layoffs, whether anyone likes it or not, is that Microsoft has become a jumbled mess and the consumers, yes even you whiny babies that are bashing Microsoft over all this, have been unhappy with alot of the product that Microsoft has been producing ( Xbox Music, Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox gaming for Windows Phone.....). Guess what, the jumbled mess inside Microsoft is directly responsible for everything wrong with Microsoft right now.
    In the US there's a saying: Too many chiefs and not enough Indians. BTW, I'm full blooded Creek Indian for those that will say that's a racist comment. Boils down to, when you have too many people to answer to, work gets confusing and unproductive and becomes what has 100% happened to Microsoft.
    Yes, it really sucks for the people who are being laid off and I personally feel sick in my stomach thinking about it but its a necessary evil of any business. Companies fire people every day. Just because it's not announced to the world doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Hell, I imagine Google fires an average 10+ people a day as does Apple or any other large corporation. It's a fact of life when you have that many employees.
    Sucks or not, Microsoft is doing their best to fix the problem they have created for themselves which, lets be honest, trickles down to us in the form of better products.
  • Very level headed answer and I agree with you.
  • Good answer... Agreed.
  • Your answer, sir, is the BEST answer in this entire section. You understand the entire thing, and don't go around scolding/bashing/whining anyone with this. Thumbs up from me. 
  • Its something that I think was inevitable with a company who just got a new leader and after such an acquisition and looking to make changes.. None the less, wish those people luck in finding another position, because a job loss is still a loss.
  • Yes, the are cutting QA jobs in the Operating Systems Division. PMs and developers are to pick up the slack. This will make MS more agile since the np longer have to test their software! So watch out for Threshold!
  • "I think he's doing what needs to be done"  wow tell that to the people who will be out of work because of a fking merger.
  • Those people were told that. It's the realities of the market. No one is saying it doesn't suck or that we shouldn't feel for those people, but it doesn't take away from the fact that decisions had to be made.
  • I am sure these folks got a very nice severance package. They can survive from it for at least 6 months and if they are smart they won't wait 6 months to start looking for another job.
  • Of interest, in these 18,000 cases, what makes you 'sure' about all that?
  • From reading the comments here, you would guess that nobody has ever had a bad experience with a coworker or has seen a coworker who was lazy, disruptive, or incompetent. Why do some people assume that those 18,000 people were shining examples of productivity, who were delivering business value. Couldn't it be possible that those people getting cut aren't delivering their fullest utility? People don't get laid off "just because". CEOs aren't nasty vindictive people who get a kick out of seeing others suffer. Some people need to be fired. I've seen it more than a few times at my own company, and in some cases, it isn't even an issue of ability but rather the preservation of other coworkers' "quality of life". Additionally, it's never a spontaneous decision. It's a long road of performance plans or repositioning before anyone is handed the pink slip. Companies lose money for every failed employee contract. Even if the CEO is a greedy bastard, it wouldn't be in his best interest to jetison the valuable employees. The beauty of capitalism is that it allows greed to be converted into a positive outcome. If the CEO wants a crap ton of money, he will seek out the best talent that can make that happen. If he isn't paying his talent enough, eventually he will have no employees left reducing his ability to make money. If he goes for talent who will accept his low pay, they won't be very competent and their low business value with also reduce his ability to make money. I personally hope that Nadella is being greedy in this sense because it will drive a more efficient, highly skilled, and more productive Microsoft.
  • I think the tone of this article is somewhat off. I don't mind some back-step analysis, attempting to put the latest news into context - but some of the language used is quite bare knuckle and at times condescending to those who have lost their jobs - many of whom will surely visit this site. I'd suggest considering revising the tone and timing of such articles in future
  • That's the problem when slapping together damage control articles like this at the last minute. No time to edit or polish.
  • I completely agree with you.
  • I'm getting a little tired of the microsoft-can-do-no-wrong feel of most of the non-tech articles wpc puts out. While I understand that hoping for a non biased article on a website which is based around Microsoft products is silly, and some websites are much more biased (see crackberry), it just pains me to see it. I'd hope to see more neutral news in the future.
  • This is the future. It's been this way for a long time. If you want unbiased reporting, you need to find it elsewhere. Otherwise try to tune out of the BS as much as possible. Hard though, admittedly.
  • I really have to wonder why you are still reading the WPC site, Dean. I'm sure you can find "unbiased" reporting elsewhere.
  • @Chris, lay-offs, while, possibly good for a company's botton line, are NEVER good for the families involved. Your article reads like "Ha! I told you so". How can you say ignore the 12,000+ Nokia lay-offs? Gloating over unemployment paints you in a bad light Chris.
  • So wait.. Microsoft bought Nokia and then fired all of the employees? Then wtf was the point of buying Nokia?
  • Excellent question. Not patents. Nokia still has all of those, MS only gets license to them Not the Nokia brand: Nokia still owns it, MS only gets temporary license to it. Not a profitable income stream: Nokia was losing hundreds of millions of EUR every quarter on smartphones, right up through the very last quarter in 2014 when they owned the business. Microsoft paid billions for the privilege of having an organization that will lose hundreds of millions every 3 months. I'd say the talent and user base, but those were both bled out of the company by Elop already. (and then with these layoffs MS lops off a huge chunk of that which they just bought) All they really got was stopping Nokia from abandoning Windows Phone, which would have essentially meant the end of Windows Phone. Nokia and Microsoft would both have been better off if they never made that deal in Feb 2011.
  • Chris U was merely reporting on business news. He's not gloating or sounding a trumpet. Sadly this makes perfect business sense. No merger of this scale goes through without some cuts. And yes, msft bought the Nokia handset division, with all the patents, licensing and technology that goes along with it. If the staff are doubling up with what msft already fields - the best get poached and the rest must sadly be let go. That makes perfect business sense.
    And yes, this is terrible for the families involved - those that are skilled will undoubtedly find new jobs. The redundancy pay will hopefully give those losing jobs a measure of security, as they look for new jobs. This, unfortunately, is business. Commercial reality.
    Don't shoot the messenger. Of course it's an utter shame and I'd imagine the unions are involved in protecting the staff in as much as possible. It is a shame and Christ, I hope it is resolved well. However this article was an objective business piece. That is all.
    God speed to all affected.