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Job cuts enroute for Microsoft, other tech industry giants

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Some of tech's biggest and and normally safest players, including Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Sony, and Google, are trimming their workforces in a bid to lower costs and stave off a harsh economy.

Microsoft downsizes 5,000 jobs

Seattle-based Microsoft announced it will cut 5,000 jobs over the next 18 months, starting with 1,400 today.

The staff change is the first round of major layoffs in the company's almost 35-year history and comes after a disappointing quarter where its revenue grew just 2 percent year-over-year but it reported an 8 percent loss in the client division that handles its staple Office and Windows software.

"In response to the realities of a deteriorating economy, we're taking important steps to realign Microsoft's business," chief executive Steve Ballmer wrote to employees in a now public memo obtained by All Things Digital.Â* "We must make adjustments to ensure that our investments are tightly aligned with current and future revenue opportunities.Â* The current environment requires that we continue to increase our efficiency."

Microsoft will eliminate "up to" 5,000 positions in research and development, marketing, sales, finance, legal and corporate affairs, human resources, and the information technology departments, according to the memo.Â* Ballmer explains that new positions will "support key investment areas during this same period of time" for a net decline in staff of 2,000 to 3,000 over the next 18 months.

Ballmer also mentioned plans to cut travel expenditures by 20 percent and reduce spending on vendors and "contingent" staff.

Microsoft will offer job services to those laid off, some of whom will find jobs elsewhere within the company.Â* The rest will receive severance pay and other benefits.

"The decision to eliminate jobs is a very difficult one," Ballmer wrote in the memo.Â* "Our people are the foundation of everything we have achieved and we place the highest value on the commitment and hard work that you have dedicated to building this company. But we believe these job eliminations are crucial to our ability to adjust the company's cost structure so that we have the resources to drive future profitable growth."

IBM cuts as many as 16,000

Meanwhile, the website of IBM's unionized workforce is awash with comments from workers who say they were the victims of layoffs at the tech giant.

Alliance@IBMÂ*is predicting as many as 16,000 job cuts based on postings from employees at its site.

An IBM spokesperson confirms that cuts are taking place, but doesn't give any exact figures.Â* If the 16,000 figure is correct, the action would represent 4 percent of the company's 400,000 worldwide workforce.

The news comes despite higher-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings, sending the stock up 11.5% yesterday.

IBM is best known among Mac users for supplying G3 and G5 processors in PowerPC-based Macs but currently focuses its semiconductor efforts on specialized systems, including the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Intel releases 5,000, closes five plants

Just before Intel is expected to report its first quarterly loss in 22 years, the Santa Clara-based company has announced 5,000 job cuts as well as closures of five plants using older manufacturing processes than the 45 nanometer technique used for nearly all of its current lineup.

Two of the plants are in the US and are located at Santa Clara, California as well as Hillsboro, Oregon. Abroad, two of the shuttered plants are located in Penang, Malaysia while one is found in Cavite, Philippines.

In a prepared statement, the computer chip maker said the plant closings and related support function changes are expected to affect "between 5,000 and 6,000" workers.

As many as 1,000 of those workers could be offered positions at other facilities.Â* About 400 employees in the San Francisco Bay Area will be affected as a result.

Of Apple's current lineup, only the Apple TV and Mac mini use chips made on 65 nanometer or larger manufacturing processes; it's unknown whether any of these are affected by the cuts.

Sony closes two factories, cuts 2,000 jobs

Sony says it will close two television factories and cut 2,000 jobs in Japan based on both a poor economy and a very strong yen, which boosts the costs of making its electronics relative to the prices for the goods sold abroad.

It comes as the company has confirmed it will post its first annual loss in 14 years and only the second in company history.

CNET believes this is one installment of Sony's existing cost reduction plan, announced last month, which is set to lay off 8,000 full-time employees and 8,000 more contractors by 2010.

Google cuts just 100

All these new cuts accompany earlier ones made by Google, which announced 100 eliminations among its recruiters last week and has often been regarded as one of the technology industry's most aggressiveh hirers. The Mountain View-based company approaches the cuts as a slowdown rather than a reduction of its total workforce.

"Google is still hiring but at a reduced rate,"Â*the company notes in its official blog.Â* "Given the state of the economy, we recognized that we needed fewer people focused on hiring."

Apple is considered one of Google's closest partners in the computer world and uses Google technology in its touchscreen devices as well as for special components of its iLife apps, such as iMovie uploads to YouTube.
post #2 of 36
Scary times. Let's hope Apple continue to defy the trend.
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post #3 of 36
It's always good to hear that Microsoft is in trouble, but I hope it doesn't get too bad too fast. We don't really want Microsoft to "wake up" or become an efficient competitor to Apple, do we?

No way did Balmer write that memo, (the man literally can't put a coherent sentence together), but one thing that struck me was the first cutback mentioned was R&D. It would be a shame if Microsoft finally realised that the majority of the R&D money they spend is actually money poured down the drain.

I know most Apple supporters have been used to Microsoft just copying what Apple does, but if they actually *do* wake up and realise that they really *don't* have to spend on R&D and really *can* just copy whatever Apple did last ... well they would be much more formidable competitors.
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post #4 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

It's always good to hear that Microsoft is in trouble, but I hope it doesn't get too bad too fast. We don't really want Microsoft to "wake up" or become an efficient competitor to Apple, do we?

No way did Balmer write that memo, (the man literally can't put a coherent sentence together), but one thing that struck me was the first cutback mentioned was R&D. It would be a shame if Microsoft finally realised that the majority of the R&D money they spend is actually money poured down the drain.

I know most Apple supporters have been used to Microsoft just copying what Apple does, but if they actually *do* wake up and realise that they really *don't* have to spend on R&D and really *can* just copy whatever Apple did last ... well they would be much more formidable competitors.

That old saying "The bigger they are the harder they fall ..." comes to mind.
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post #5 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

It's always good to hear that Microsoft is in trouble, but I hope it doesn't get too bad too fast. We don't really want Microsoft to "wake up" or become an efficient competitor to Apple, do we?

No way did Balmer write that memo, (the man literally can't put a coherent sentence together), but one thing that struck me was the first cutback mentioned was R&D. It would be a shame if Microsoft finally realised that the majority of the R&D money they spend is actually money poured down the drain.

I know most Apple supporters have been used to Microsoft just copying what Apple does, but if they actually *do* wake up and realise that they really *don't* have to spend on R&D and really *can* just copy whatever Apple did last ... well they would be much more formidable competitors.

It is not good to hear that Microsoft is stumbling. They could decide to cut the MBU altogether. Plus those are real people losing their jobs. Anyone care for the Xbox 360 or Halo? The unemployment lines are getting deep and I don't believe this is the bottom yet.
post #6 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Scary times. Let's hope Apple continue to defy the trend.

Dont you know yet? Apple defy the trend for computers, music players, mobile phones and now.... unemployment.
post #7 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

It is not good to hear that Microsoft is stumbling. They could decide to cut the MBU altogether. Plus those are real people losing their jobs. Anyone care for the Xbox 360 or Halo? The unemployment lines are getting deep and I don't believe this is the bottom yet.

I do feel bad for those losing their jobs... but could you remind me when's the last time MBU came out with something half decent?
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Scary times. Let's hope Apple continue to defy the trend.

Hmmmm.... I dare say that Apple is contributing to the trend.

Apple's envelope-pushing across a wide swathe of product-market segments seems to have Microsoft, Nokia, and Sony on the ropes. As a result, they have to price their products more aggressively, spend more on R&D and Capex and advtg/promotion to match Apple's juggernaut, all of which, no doubt is leading to their reduced market shares and margins. And, the retrenching.
post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipodrulz View Post

I do feel bad for those losing their jobs...

I liked that sentiment... there are some rather mean-spirited posters (possibly posting from the safety of their folk's basements) on these boards. (Thankfully from now distant memory) being unemployed - esp. if you have dependents - sucks giant donkey balls! And must be even harder in a country where the unemployment benefit is limited.

Office 2004 wasn't all that bad (apart from the way it works and at least it allows Mac users to communicate unimpeded with the great unwashed. It is far better for Apple to be a strong competitor in a strong competition than for it to become (or be seen as) a flat track bully. And for Apple to shine there has to be some credible alternative... for Order there has to be Chaos, for Good their has to be Evil.

Enz
post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by enzos View Post

... for Order there has to be Chaos, for Good their has to be Evil.

Enz

Very nicely put. I might add, for Capitalism, there has to be Bankruptcy; and for Religion, Sin.

The eternal dialectic......
post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

It's always good to hear that Microsoft is in trouble, but I hope it doesn't get too bad too fast. We don't really want Microsoft to "wake up" or become an efficient competitor to Apple, do we?

No way did Balmer write that memo, (the man literally can't put a coherent sentence together), but one thing that struck me was the first cutback mentioned was R&D. It would be a shame if Microsoft finally realised that the majority of the R&D money they spend is actually money poured down the drain.

I know most Apple supporters have been used to Microsoft just copying what Apple does, but if they actually *do* wake up and realise that they really *don't* have to spend on R&D and really *can* just copy whatever Apple did last ... well they would be much more formidable competitors.

Your Quote:
"No way did Balmer write that memo, (the man literally can't put a coherent sentence together), "

It's more than apparent that you can't either, so please test your ignorance level before you make it public.

At the very least, make sure you "read" your reply before you post it

Ignorance is bliss but public ignorance is embarrassing.
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

It's always good to hear that Microsoft is in trouble, but I hope it doesn't get too bad too fast. We don't really want Microsoft to "wake up" or become an efficient competitor to Apple, do we? .

In order for that to happen they need a new executive team, and probably new VPs as well. Cultural changes have to come from the top down. The fact that the top jobs are not on the line is just another sign of how poorly MS is run; after Vista, the guillotine should have been rolled out. It wasn't.
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post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Just before Intel is expected to report its first quarterly loss in 22 years, the Santa Clara-based company has announced 5,000 job cuts as well as closures of five plants using older manufacturing processes than the 45 nanometer technique used for nearly all of its current lineup.

...

Of Apple's current lineup, only the Apple TV and Mac mini use chips made on 65 nanometer or larger manufacturing processes; it's unknown whether any of these are affected by the cuts.

How many plants are there that use 65 nanometer?
post #14 of 36
I am a bit puzzled by the headline of this story: 'enroute' to what?
post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I am a bit puzzled by the headline of this story: 'enroute' to what?

That's what you call an illiteracy. 'on the way' is what is meant. Geeks should stick to little words... like 0 and 1.
post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

It's always good to hear that Microsoft is in trouble, but I hope it doesn't get too bad too fast. We don't really want Microsoft to "wake up" or become an efficient competitor to Apple, do we?

No way did Balmer write that memo, (the man literally can't put a coherent sentence together), but one thing that struck me was the first cutback mentioned was R&D. It would be a shame if Microsoft finally realised that the majority of the R&D money they spend is actually money poured down the drain.

I know most Apple supporters have been used to Microsoft just copying what Apple does, but if they actually *do* wake up and realise that they really *don't* have to spend on R&D and really *can* just copy whatever Apple did last ... well they would be much more formidable competitors.

It's about time some of you fanboys grew up and joined the real world.

It is never a good time for any company to be in trouble, especially one who owns the marketplace your beloved Apple plays so heavily in. How many pensions and savings plans are falling apart because of the downturn in the stock market? This affects everybody. When a company like Microsoft start putting news like this out it has ramifications across the entire industry and to their suppliers who happen to be the same people who supply Apple with their components too. Components I might add that Apple can source so cheaply because of the huge numbers built thanks in large to the PC world and Microsoft.

Microsoft have a history of leading the way and making some outstanding products, that is why they are where they are now.

They, like Apple are a company who's number 1 goal is to make money for their shareholders. They don't owe you anything nor do you owe them anything. They are a company who court you because of the money you can give them and that is all.

I really do not understand this obsessive love for a company. I use Apple products, I use Microsoft products, I use them because they do a job for me. I don't get all personal about things and certainly do not take any joy in todays news.
post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by enzos View Post

That's what you call an illiteracy. 'on the way' is what is meant. Geeks should stick to little words... like 0 and 1.

So I guess it would apply for you. To say "an" illiteracy where you should have said "the author is illiterate".

To say an illiteracy is improper use of the word in any context. So please stick to 1's & 0's in the future and stick to the subject of the rooms context.

Let me make it more simple for you to understand, the title and your post was Illiterate. 1,0,1,0,1,0. Better for you much, me hope I helped.

Main Entry: il·lit·er·a·cy
Pronunciation: \\(ˌ)i(l)-ˈli-t(ə-)rə-sē\\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural il·lit·er·a·cies
Date: 1660
1: the quality or state of being illiterate ; especially : inability to read or write
2: a mistake or crudity (as in speaking) typical of one who is illiterate
post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacOldTimer View Post

So I guess it would apply for you. To say "an" illiteracy where you should have said "the author is illiterate".

To say an illiteracy is improper use of the word in any context. So please stick to 1's & 0's in the future and stick to the subject of the rooms context.

Let me make it more simple for you to understand, the title and your post was Illiterate. 1,0,1,0,1,0. Better for you much, me hope I helped.

Main Entry: il·lit·er·a·cy
Pronunciation: \\(ˌ)i(l)-ˈli-t(ə-)rə-sē\\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural il·lit·er·a·cies
Date: 1660
1: the quality or state of being illiterate ; especially : inability to read or write
2: a mistake or crudity (as in speaking) typical of one who is illiterate



OldTimer, I would stick to the 1's and 0's if I was you.

Have a look at defenition 2 below and the explain how the OP used the word incorrectly?

Quote:
n., pl. -cies.
1 The condition of being unable to read and write.

2 An error, as in writing or speech, made by or thought to be characteristic of one who is illiterate. See Usage Note at literate.

3 The condition or quality of being ignorant or unknowledgeable in a particular subject or field: cultural illiteracy; scientific illiteracy.
post #19 of 36
*Ouch* It's one thing for a company to shed jobs from losing market share in a competitive environment, as talented people can move horizontally to a company with growing market share; it's something entirely different, however, when competing companies shed jobs because of deteriorating industry conditions. This ripple will cut through so many industry chains: supply, R&D, manufacturing, tech support, sales.... and, across developing economies, too.... so many people....

The economic news grows lovelier by the day
post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murphster View Post

It's about time some of you fanboys ....
.

'fanboys' = "I have nothing intelligent to say."
Try learning some more creative ad-hominem (and 21st century) phrases.
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murphster View Post

OldTimer, I would stick to the 1's and 0's if I was you.

Have a look at defenition 2 below and the explain how the OP used the word incorrectly?


Please look at definition 1.
Pl, meaning plural.
1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1

You are obviously a Mac Fanboy that can’t accept being wrong so you have no 0.

Definition 1 would imply no need to read definition 2.
post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murphster View Post

It's about time some of you fanboys grew up and joined the real world.

It is never a good time for any company to be in trouble, especially one who owns the marketplace your beloved Apple plays so heavily in. How many pensions and savings plans are falling apart because of the downturn in the stock market? This affects everybody. When a company like Microsoft start putting news like this out it has ramifications across the entire industry and to their suppliers who happen to be the same people who supply Apple with their components too. Components I might add that Apple can source so cheaply because of the huge numbers built thanks in large to the PC world and Microsoft.

Microsoft have a history of leading the way and making some outstanding products, that is why they are where they are now.

They, like Apple are a company who's number 1 goal is to make money for their shareholders. They don't owe you anything nor do you owe them anything. They are a company who court you because of the money you can give them and that is all.

I really do not understand this obsessive love for a company. I use Apple products, I use Microsoft products, I use them because they do a job for me. I don't get all personal about things and certainly do not take any joy in todays news.

I don't mean to be personal and I don't want to insult you but most of what you say here just sounds nuts to me.

It seems from my reading rather that you have the obsession with Microsoft and not me so much with Apple. I apologise for not giving deference to "a company like Microsoft" that we should of course give "thanks" to. Well, not really.

Your argument that Apple wouldn't get cheap component prices if Microsoft went down, because the prices are based on the volume of Microsoft's business is empty. Computer demand is computer demand and if Microsoft is not there to fill the software part, some other entity or combination of entity's would. if you think about it, you are kind of suggesting that without Windows, people would stop buying and using computers???

Your statement that Microsoft has "a history of leading the way" is just a joke. Not sure what to say to that other than they could be said to have led the *business* of software, or led the *marketing* of software then perhaps you would be right, but in any other sense, not.

Finally your statement that "They, like Apple are a company who's number 1 goal is to make money for their shareholders" indicates to me both that you buy into that whole "business has no ethical requirements" kind of schtick and also that you don't understand Apple's business at all.

For the record, you also completely mis-interpret me with the "fan boy" statement. It not only is a dumb kind of thing that only the intellectually bankrupt would employ in an argument, it's ass-backwards. It's more that I don't like Microsoft than that I have some undying love for Apple. I don't like a lot of decisions Apple makes but I think their products are stellar individually. Microsoft on the other hand has proven itself to me to be more of the rapacious, money-grubbing, anti-consumer kind of entity that can't make good products to save it's life.
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post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipodrulz View Post

I do feel bad for those losing their jobs... but could you remind me when's the last time MBU came out with something half decent?

Touche. I use iWork instead of Office. I do use their IM client and Remote Desktop for work purposes with the former being a poor cousin to the Windows version. Other than those products I can't say they have any Mac software that I'm interested in.
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacOldTimer View Post

2: a mistake or crudity (as in speaking) typical of one who is illiterate

Umm.. thanks, that's the one; and, since you clearly cannot read your own post, you make my point!

Enz
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacOldTimer View Post

Your Quote:
"No way did Balmer write that memo, (the man literally can't put a coherent sentence together), "

It's more than apparent that you can't either, so please test your ignorance level before you make it public.

At the very least, make sure you "read" your reply before you post it

Ignorance is bliss but public ignorance is embarrassing.

I take your point, but no way am I a patch on that fellow.

Balmer literally doesn't "get" the whole subject-predicate-object thing. He just strings dozens of sentence fragments together, and throws in a lot of business buzz-words. He says things like "managing the collective spread of our efficiency quotients as a team," and crap like that.

When I referred to a "coherent sentence," I meant a sentence with some kind of logical consistency where you can follow the meaning, not grammar.
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post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacOldTimer View Post

Please look at definition 1.
Pl, meaning plural.
1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1

You are obviously a Mac Fanboy that cant accept being wrong so you have no 0.

Definition 1 would imply no need to read definition 2.

Do you understand how a dictionary works?

The reason why words sometimes have more than one definition is because they sometimes have different meanings.

Definition 2 clearly gives a meaning that is exactly how the original poster used it. Why are you talking about Definition 1? It has no bearing on definition 2.

You get all smartarse but now you have realised you have made a mistake you really should do the decent thing and apologise instead of digging yourself into a deeper hole.
post #27 of 36
the company is still making billions $ each quarter. Cash cows liks Windows or Office will keep giving milk. To cut jobs in such a bad downturn while profits go down only slightly is a sign of weakness though. I don't believe MS-workers will digg that. A company like Microsoft should rather invest in such a period of time. While companies like Sony or Dell are really in trouble, the big MS can easily try to get a hold of previously untouched markets by investing heavily in R&D. The fact that they are acting pro-cyclical, even though they don't have to, shows poor management skills. If I was a talented software-engineer for MS now would be the time to apply for a job at Apple...
post #28 of 36
Amidst these job cuts announcement, if there is someone who benefits, it is a job search app for the iPhone called iJobs. Its sale rose so much in the past few days that it is now the number 1 app in the Business category. Read more analysis at "How to reach the top of App Store - iJobs rises amidst Job cut announcements"
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

... The unemployment lines are getting deep ...

Not sure if I got my facts right but it seems New York state ran out of money to pay unemployment benefits. They're borrowing from the Federal govt. to continue to pay benefits.

This is clearly getting worse than the dot-com bust and on a more global scale.
post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by iphonedevguy View Post

Amidst these job cuts announcement, if there is someone who benefits, it is a job search app for the iPhone called iJobs. Its sale rose so much in the past few days that it is now the number 1 app in the Business category. Read more analysis at "How to reach the top of App Store - iJobs rises amidst Job cut announcements"

I thought iJobs was some sort of App that updates you on the hormonal levels in Steve Jobs body in realtime.
post #31 of 36
Just think if they had not spent that $300 million dollars on advertising Vista to consumers that don't even know what an operating system is. That waste of cash could have kept some of those soon to be laid off at their jobs. I would recommend M$ just make the cuts in R&D those folks deserve to go after Vista.
post #32 of 36
"It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning." -Henry Ford

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post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Touche. I use iWork instead of Office. I do use their IM client and Remote Desktop for work purposes with the former being a poor cousin to the Windows version. Other than those products I can't say they have any Mac software that I'm interested in.

You may not use any Microsoft MAc based products persionally but you still use Windows in you everyday life whether you'd like to admit it or not. Do you ever use an ATM, etc, etc, etc?
It is sad when people loose their jobs- even presidents. NOT!
post #34 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerryb View Post

Just think if they had not spent that $300 million dollars on advertising Vista to consumers that don't even know what an operating system is.

Somebody at M$ call Crispin Porter Bogusky right away and have them put together a Jerry & Bill video to ease the layoff pain... something that explains the severance package and Cobra benefits in a... well... quirky yet whimsical way.sonic rates
post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonComstock View Post

Somebody at M$ call Crispin Porter Bogusky right away and have them put together a Jerry & Bill video to ease the layoff pain... something that explains the severance package and Cobra benefits in a... well... quirky yet whimsical way.sonic rates

Good one! But don't worry, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will step in and give them all nice golden parachutes I'm sure.
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post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It is sad when people loose their jobs- even presidents. NOT!

Glad you corrected that lol
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