In the past few hours, news has broken that Microsoft is planning a massive series worker layoffs from the software giant. All up, over 18,000 jobs will be cut across the company. This comes following a period of declining influence for the Microsoft, and indeed mark the single largest layoff in the company’s 39 year history.
But why is this happening?
The company has been playing catch-up with competitors like Google, Apple and Samsung.
In the last few years, Microsoft has gone form the number 1 position in the tech world, to merely one of among many. Indeed, in several ways the company has been playing catch-up with competitors like Google, Apple and Samsung, especially in the fields of hardware, and mobile operating systems. As well as this, the company’s highly successful Windows 7 software was followed by the lacklustre Windows 8 platform, which saw very slow uptake.
While this accounts for some of the losses, the majority will be from the Nokia Devices and Services division which was recently acquired by Microsoft. In a memo sent to employees allegedly from the company’s CEO Satya Nadella, published on Mashable, it states:
“...we will begin to reduce the size of our overall workforce by up to 18,000 jobs in the next year. Of that total, our work toward synergies and strategic alignment on Nokia Devices and Services is expected to account for about 12,500 jobs, comprising both professional and factory workers.”
What this means for the company is currently unknown, however, what we do know is that since the change in CEO leadership within Microsoft, the company is refocusing towards a cloud-centric sales model, where the company is knuckling down on its software fundamentals. As most of the losses have been from the Nokia acquisition, questions should be asked however, regarding how committed the company is to building its own mobile hardware - something it had earlier planned to do with these staff.
Nevertheless, this might be just the kick that Microsoft needs to re-form the company and regain its top position in the tech world. Before we count them off completely, let’s remember where Apple was at in 2002.
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