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Microsoft's Operating Systems Group reportedly affected "immediately" by layoffs

A new report claims that today's announcement of 18,000 upcoming job cuts at Microsoft will affect the company's Operating Systems Group, led by Terry Myerson, "immediately and directly" as the division makes some organizational changes that are already in place in other parts of Microsoft.

Myerson was put in charge of the division, which develops the Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox operating systems, a year ago when former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced his own changes at the company, which did not involve layoffs. ZDNet's long time Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley states, via her unnamed sources at Microsoft, that the changes announced today by current CEO Satya Nadella will cause the Operating Systems Group to alter its current product management/development/software organizational structure.

What does this mean? Foley has heard that some Windows engineers, "primarily dedicated testers" will be let go as part of the layoffs announced today and that product managers and development engineers could take over some of those testing responsibilities. The idea is that this should make the OS team both leaner as well as have them work faster instead of releasing new products in two or three year cycles. Microsoft is rumored to be developing the next version of Windows, code named Threshold, for a launch sometime in the spring of 2015.

In addition, a number of Microsoft's sales and marketing employees will be affected by the layoffs. Foley writes that, according to an internal email sent out by Microsoft's chief operating officer Kevin Turner today, the plan is to "reduce our reliance on contingent staff augmentation by over 20 percent year-over-year." In fact, she writes that the layoffs will have some effect on all of Microsoft's divisions.

In related news, the Seattle Times reports that about 1,351 of Microsoft's job cuts will come from its headquarters in Redmond, Washington and the surrounding area. That will affect just three percent of the 43,000 Microsoft team members who work in the region.

Source: ZDNet, Seattle Times

85 Comments
  • "Dedicated product tester" i would love to be one :D
  • Looking for bugs all day? I can't imagine an office job much more horrible...
     
  • I have been in the Corporate world for 18 years now. A "Real" product/software tester thinks differently than a developer or product manager, that's why this may hurt them. You need to have a dedicated person to test software, not the developer doing a spot check at the end of his coding.
  • Yup. And these are dedicated tested, which I read to mean embedded in the dev teams. The value these folks bring is incredible to a team's initial quality level.
  • What does they did. MS needs to halt cyan update for bit locker. Can't they figure out before. So many consumer affected.
    Xbox music and calendar app on phone, get crash . Can't they figure out before making available to customer.
  • NO "consumers" are affected only "develepors" or those who claim to be a "developer" and has "preview for developer" are affected .
  • I'm sure they tested the Xbox Music
  • Why don't my playlists update after the initial sync? Whoever is testing Xbox Music should be fired.
  • Yup, just like designers and copyrighters need dedicated proofreaders.
  • Totally agree. As a QA Engineer myself, I find bugs that devs say they wouldnt even think of checking for. No QA causes lots of issues to get by that devs don't think their users would find. To me... QA is essentially the eyes of the people before they get to see the product
  • I thought that was our job as WP owners lol
  • Lol same thought.
  • It was. You are being let go.
  • We are the product testers. That is why there are beta and preview releases. Microsoft just realized that we all are working for free so why should they pay for dedicated testers when they have hundreds of thousands of free testers. Microsoft doesn't even have to pay for the devices to test on as we buy our own devices. Testing shall continue, just not at the same financial expense to Microsoft. :)   P.S. I just completely made all of this up and there isn't any proof to what I have said. Furthermore, these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.
  • Hehe:) Or maybe they won't need as many testers as Windows is slowly becoming one..? :)
  • But since there is no public beta, and the dev preview is the same bits that the manufacturers were given..... Yeah.
  • @hopmedic, as an Ambassador, did you just delete all of my/our comments? I was simply speaking the truth about WP 8.1. Deaconclgi, you are correct. When this was relased to Devlopers back in April, MS knew that it was not ready for prime time and was not ready for the public. That's why it went to Developers, Manufactures, and probably carriers to find the bugs. We've had 3 updates to the release and we may even see more before the carriers release it to us. It's true that the code base was final back in April, but that doesn't mean it was fully tested for bugs, which means it wasn't ready for mass rollout to the public.  
  • Perfect job lol
  • LOL
  • Really because you would be getting the boot right now... I would love to stay employed lol...
  •  Microsoft All Old and New Operating systems are good to use, But If you want to use your OS as a commercial level, It is just Windows 7 Professional 32/64bit Full Version OS with license, Which I also used at my laptop. It is safe anytime without any risk to lost my data after get corruption, Because it has been updating direct from Microsoft server. All you need is to get Microsoft genuine software and its license activation code from: ODosta Store
    I also got it, Which is working well from last year.
  • Haha...nice :P
  • Wow
  • Fully support to layoff!
  • Even if u didn't they would still layoff :P
  • Hahaha :-P
  • So basically overpopulation was causing Microsoft slowness???
  • Microsoft has over 120k employees. You don't think this didn't slow them down? Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Totally. Too many cooks in the kitchen all fighting over how much sugar to put in the pudding.
  • Mmmmmmmm.....pudding.
  • Jello pudding !!!
  • Vanilla pudding
  • Homemade, actually from scratch, pudding.
  • Perfect example
  • Somebody call Bill Cosby!!!!!
  • The MSFT stock since the news is rising up.
  • Infect highest in 14 years, via tom warren
  • Infect
  • Everyone with an Iphone got fired today;)
  • I'm sure that would consist of almost half of MS by the logic. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Everyone who refused to switch got fired today;)
  • Ahahahh
  • Can't say I'm sad to see MIcrosfot layoff anyone who tested Windows 8 and gave it a thumbs up --- too harsh? Sucks to see this happening, but I hope this will better Microsoft's culture.
  • Their job is to make sure it functions as designed... Not critique poor design decisions such as all the hidden UI elements only revealed by weird swipes unnatural to any desktop user (improved in 8.1 obviously).
  • Windows 8's issues had nothing to do with testing. It was design decisions made by upper management. Decisions, I mostly support, but the market disagreed.
  • Testing is lucrative job. So many Indian it cos earn on testing only. So many hiring in bulk in testing only!!
  • True only! But Microsoft does not need so many testers only!
  • And Terry Myerson didn't get fired. Boo.
  • Together with Elop, Ash, Belfiore and Nadella right? LOL
  • They need to bring J Allard back.
  • I wish they had a like button for comments because yours is the best!  Agree 100%
  • +1000000000 to this he also suggested to bring Albert Shum to MS (one of the masterminds behind Metro when its was In its infancy)!
  • I respect his technical expertise, but they don't need another ego maniac who will start dropping water when a doomed product gets put out to pasture (Courier); Despite it being cool, it would have never suceeded against the ipdad, kindle fire HD, etc. because it was a nitch product, not mainstream consumer device like all the others. But, the good thing is that its proprietary and Microsoft still own the patents. If he's learned his  lesson, he can come back ; )........if only he had made paper for WP
  • Nadella? LOL.
  • Sad for the people affected and their families :/
  • What about the stores... Are they cutting back too? =[
  • Alongside the feature phone cuts, Microsoft is also planning to offer Nokia MixRadio as a third-party service. The software maker is considering options to spinoff the service, and has initiated discussions with "strong interest" from third parties. Until MixRadio is sold, it has also been moved into maintenance mode.
    IF THEY KILL MIX RADIO FOR THE XBOX BS....I'M MOVING BACK TO ANDROID. PERIOD. 
  • Same here. Mix Radio should've never been sold and stayed at Nokia.
  • Yeah mix radio should not die. Please Microsoft only this service u don't discontinue!!!!
  • or Nokia could buy it back with the cash they got and make it available on all platform like Here maps :)
  • Source? Edit: disregard that, just got the toast notification. What the heck?... why not merge mixradio with xbox music?..
  • I just don't see how firing dedicated testers and giving their responsibilities to someone else will make development faster. I mean yes, it could, but only if you're going to release something buggy.
  • I bet the calendar app update fiasco was a wake up call, the bug was infront of you as all you had to is add an appointment (a very basic action) and not some hard to replicate bug.
  • Keep in mind that Microsoft has streamlined their OS portfolio. Windows CE-based WP7.8 support will end soon and Windows XP support has already ended. They basically have just Windows NT now in different flavors for phones, tablets, PCs and Xbox One. They may not need all testers.
  • Good! Microsoft's not been impressing me in this last decade so much. Glad seeing all these changes, and I wouldn't doubt this is for the better for all.
  • Yeah dude, they're in the business of impressing you. Get off your high horse. You seems like a tool. They're in the business of making money above all.
  • They seem to be busy firing people and forgot on that biweekly Xbox music update!
  • One can only hope the XBM team gets fired.
  • Sack 'em all, they all secretly work for apple anyway.
  • I wonder how many of these "dedicated testers" actually test or tested the xbox music app, the calendar app update or the email hub (just to name a few - I got around the attachment issue using onedrive but most people still insist on sending attachments). As bad redundancies are and the effect on their families, if you aren't doing your job properly - regardless of company you will be fired. Hopefully the people who have been made redudant will be able get jobs elsewhere.. Edit: Also given the size of the merger, layoffs were inevitable.  
  • I will work in MS I just got more chances in future after the lay off. Stop, am I being mean?
  • I hope this helps them because one thing we see a lot are bugs, so much errors in the systems. It happened with the Surface Pro 3 and with the calendar app in WP. And they were official software but had a lot of bugs, testing is a very important thing for Microsoft and I thought that what they needed were more testers.
  • They don't need more testers, they need quality tests; people who really care about their jobs and not just sitting around the office texting, using social networks, and playing games instead of truly performing quality control testing like they should have been doing.
  • No idea what those testers were doing, but good management makes that job a lot easier (to actually do, and to stay motivated for).
  • WTF is going on there ? Microsoft is going crazy. Looks like they are going to mix all the things togther. Quality of Nokia is lossing day by day.....Ohhh nOOOOOOO
  • A new BlackBerry in the making
  • That's just what Microsoft needs. Fewer people testing their software pre-release. Now their Customers can all go back to being beta-testers, which as we ask knows, is just what the average Consumer wants.
  • Public or Developer previews of software allows many different types of people to test the products. More data is collected and patching is accelerated. There's nothing wrong with this model. The Open Source community relies on it...
  • This is such a HUGE change! I love it!! :)
  • Expect a lot more details to be leaked in the coming months...
  • Today's announcement of Microsoft layoffs is a tragedy. I hope those affected keep their cool and move forward quickly! The first step is to create an awesome resume! Here are some great tips: http://expertbeacon.com/creating-resume-will-get-noticed
  • Yup give away window free under 9 inches.... Now they lost profit so tryin some people.....
  • This is a bullshit move by corporate types.  Fire all your best paid workers and hire them back at a two thrids the salary and no health benefits.
  • They want to fire their whole marketing department. Useless bastards.
  • Yes reduce the amount of employees you have and expect the ones you keep to work faster.. that always works.