Nothing like rumors of corporate layoffs to throw 89,000 Microsoft employees into unproductive turmoil. This time the rumors are being mongered by the Wall Street Journal and TechFlash, both of whom have been told to expect "far smaller" cuts than the 5,000 heads lost during the global financial downturn. And while it's easy to come to the conclusion that this round of layoffs is the result of the Kin debacle, keep in mind that Microsoft is entering a new fiscal year -- the perfect time (from a budgetary perspective) to trim down and refocus on new strategies. Still, if this does affect the Kin team, then let's just hope that the skilled engineers toiling inside the project's pink trenches are spared when the reductions begin as soon as today, according to TechFlash. While J Allard may be gone, one executive alone doesn't create a culture and governance model that builds multi-million dollar silos of duplication and then turns a blind eye to inter-team stonewalling. We say aim high when it comes time to swing that axe Microsoft.
Update: TechFlash is now reporting that, yes, Redmond has wielded its handled blade. At this point it's suggested to run only in the hundreds across the globe, and "the low hundreds in the Seattle region," across several groups. Sounds indeed more like a pruning of its over 88,000-strong workforce and less like Kin fallout.
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