Microsoft Layoffs ‘Imminent’


Gentlemen, Start Your Résumés

UPDATE: 1/21/2009:  We have learned that the problem is much worse than we originally thought.  Microsoft employees confirmed that they are laying off 5,000 employees within the next months, and 1,500 are being notified today.  The hardest hit is the Windows Mobile division, which is practically being gutted.  The Windows Mobile division isn’t going away, because Microsoft plans to re-populate the staff with new hires or contractors.

There has been a lot of chatter that Microsoft will be laying off employees this month.  The world economy has not been doing very well in the past year, and many companies are either bought out, absorbed, collapse, or simply trim the fat in an attempt to survive.  People are looking to see if Microsoft, one of the most profitable companies in the world, will be laying off employees as a sign of just how bad the economic climate is.

We have learned through Microsoft employees that layoffs are not just a rumor, but they are imminent.

We have learned through several Microsoft Administrators and Human Resource personnell about these plans.  Some administrators are “required” to be at work this upcoming Thursday and Friday (January 22nd and 23rd).  These are the same administrators that handle exiting employees, and past experience dictates that any work attendance “requirement” is code for employee layoffs.

It appears that Microsoft is indeed laying off employees, and at least one round will take place on January 22 and/or 23rd, 2009.  From what we’ve learned, contractors are exempt… for now.

Now before EVERYBODY PANICS, you should know several facts.  Microsoft is an extremely profitable company with BILLIONS of dollars in surplus.  Microsoft can literally sustain itself for twenty years based on its current burn rate without making a single dollar in profit.

Microsoft routinely reviews its employees and performs layoffs every year.  Many of these come as a result of lackluster performance reviews, and usually do not affect entire departments. It is not news that Microsoft is firing employees, but there is a lot of hype right now because the software giant is laying off employees during a time of percieved economic downturn.

Even though employee firings are occuring, this does not appear to be a “layoff” as most people recognize them.  Layoffs usually occur when a company is in trouble, or they need to balance a budget to remain profitable.  Microsoft does not appear to be in trouble, and its actions are not the direct result of the economy.

Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via Google+, Facebook and follow his ass on Twitter @ocmodshop.