As expected, Microsoft announced the largest-ever layoffs in its corporate history, with up to 18,000 employees—or 14 percent of the workforce—expected to lose their jobs over the current fiscal year, which ends in June 2015. Fully half of the 25,000 employees that came to Microsoft from Nokia will be among those let go.
Microsoft will announce the biggest layoffs in its history as soon as Thursday, according to a reliable report in Bloomberg. The move comes in the wake of a massive—some say unnecessary—$7.2 billion purchase of Nokia's devices and services businesses and a promise from CEO Satya Nadella that he will flatten Microsoft's corporate structure and, it is expected, removes redundant layers of management.
Last week, Microsoft announced some major changes to its Office 365 versions for small and medium-sized businesses, triggering an avalanche of questions. And with the fog of war starting to finally fade, I feel like I have a better handle on what this will mean to those SMBs who are already on Office 365 but are unsure how these changes will impact them.
In a lengthy and rousing Worldwide Partner Conference opening keynote on Monday, a string of Microsoft executives laid out the firm's strategy for the coming year and beyond, expanding on a previously published open letter by CEO Satya Nadella. The key theme was a new focus on productivity across all devices and platforms, and not just Microsoft's.
On Friday, Google filed a motion to have a US-based antitrust case targeting Android dismissed, arguing that its licensing requirements for the mobile OS have not led to higher prices for consumers. Instead, the search giant noted, smart phone makers can choose between a free version of the OS or a paid version that includes Google apps and services.
An often irreverent look at this week's other news, including Satya Nadella's lengthy mantra on the new Microsoft, whether mobile is the future of Xbox, why Nadella's letter is far from shocking, possible Microsoft layoffs loom, a voice of reason in the din of silliness, Windows 7 is (not) ending, US has the most Windows Phone users, and China hates the iPhone now too.
The US Federal Trade Commission sued Amazon.com on Thursday, alleging that the retailer allowed children to illegally make millions of dollars of purchases inside of apps sold through its Android-based online store. The complaint mirrors a lawsuit the FTC had previously launched against Apple, but if anything, Amazon's handling of this issue has been even more anti-consumer.
A lead Apple lawyer formally requested that the Federal Trade Commission investigate Google for its in-app purchase policies in the Android mobile OS. The complaint alleges that Google allows children to continue making these purchases long after parental oversight has ended, exactly the crime for which Apple was previously punished.
Samsung Electronics, the world's largest maker of smart phones, this week issued a warning for its most recent quarter, noting that profit would fall an estimated 24 percent to a still-heady $7.1 billion. The consumer electronics giant cited a number of factors for the shortfall, but analysts are of course looking most closely at the firm's smart phone and tablet sales.
Anyone who's in IT or just interested in technology knows all about frustration. Whether it's the one computer in an identically configured lot that inexplicably never works right, the Windows Update that never installs properly or the user who routinely finds new malware, we've all been there. But in this hyper-connected world in which we live, there is perhaps nothing more frustrating than an unreliable, balky, or just plain worthless Internet connection.
A tweet from a respected Windows leaker triggered some excitement that Microsoft may have reversed course and decided to ship its twice-delayed Surface Mini tablet this summer. But my sources are telling me that's not the case and that Surface Mini is still on the backburner.
Microsoft is among a number of companies involved in a series of tax evasion investigations by the European Union. The software giant joins Amazon, Apple and a number of non-technology companies that are being scrutinized in a variety of EU member states.
An often irreverent look at this short holiday week's other news, including a 4th of July break, Microsoft's smart watch is smart but not a watch, worries about former Nokia employees, Microsoft takes down more than malware, Google finds a thrifty alternative to Beats, Amazon sues former employee for going Google, and, no, Virginia, Surface Mini was not cancelled because of an iPhone 6 rumor.
The US Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday accused T-Mobile of secretly "cramming" spurious and unauthorized charges into customer cell phone bills, earning hundreds of millions of dollars in the process. The agency would like to see a federal court force T-Mobile to repay the bogus fees to customers and change its business practices.
Microsoft used to have a firm grip on small businesses, which it could nurture into the bigger business customers of the future. But this past month's Apple WWDC and Google I/O conferences cemented a problem I see only getting worse for the software giant: For a growing generation of new technology users, Microsoft and its productivity solutions simply aren't even part of the discussion. And this isn't just bad news for Microsoft, its bad news for IT.