May 21, 2006

Is Microsoft Poised for Massive Layoffs?

Microsoft, the gargantuan software monolith, has long been known for a number of things - aggressive marketing and business practices, a slew of software products, on again off again security, and an OS family that, while long in the tooth, is still the predominant OS for the vast majority of both home and business users. However, one thing the company has not been known for is a big word - layoffs. This all may soon change, if one Microsoft-focused blog is to be believed. Word is, with massive delays plaguing the company's next-generation Windows OS, Vista, heads are about to roll in the company's Windows division, and it could mean hundreds of lost jobs, not all of whom will find new jobs at the Redmond company.

One visitor to the site wrote, "I got wind today that a MASSIVE Windows RIF is in the works. It's real folks. Hundreds and hundreds of jobs. The good news is that other parts of MS will be able to absorb it. But if you want your pick of what's out there, beat the rush and don't wait for review time."

Now, it's one thing to believe anonymous posters on an anonymously-hosted blog, but Mini-Microsoft has had a direct line into the hearts and minds of those slogging away at the software giant, and if Web discussions are to be believed, this author's constant criticism of the company has had direct impact on real-world changes to Microsoft's HR policies.

We don't root for any individuals to find themselves in harm's way as a result of layoffs. I've been laid off once, and that once was enough. I've seen coworkers let go - some because they weren't pulling their weight, and others, because they were caught in the tide on its way out. But if Microsoft is to galvanize the technology industry the way they did in the 1990s, some big changes will have to happen - or companies like Google, Apple, Yahoo! and others we've never heard of will rule the future.

(Previous post on this topic: Microsoft in a Hard Place)

Listening to ''Halcyon + On + On'', by Orbital (Play Count: 3)

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