Big news out of Redmond today as the company announced elimination of some 5,000 positions in the next 18 months, some 1,400 of which are expected to come today. In addition, cuts are also coming to contractors, both in non-renewal of contracts (which has already begun), and in more immediate cuts.
What this means for any particular group or product remains unclear, and information is fueled largely by rumor at this point. A post on the Mini-Microsoft blog may be giving some glimpses into the nature of the cuts, although it is difficult to tell whether or not the mostly anonymous comments are valid. Some reduction in Live Search and Microsoft Advertising staff has been mentioned there, although in a conference call this morning Steve Ballmer said that Search was one of the places that would continue to hire, somewhat offsetting the cuts taking place.
More rumors have it that the Entertainment and Devices division, home of Xbox, Zune, and Windows Mobile, may face cuts and/or re-organization.
All in all it’s a stressful and uncertain time at Microsoft today. We wish all our friends there the best of luck, and hopefully both the economy and the climate at Microsoft will improve soon. This is no fun for Microsoft, but the company remains on solid footing, something that not every company can say in these uncertain times.