updated 09:25 am EST, Fri January 23, 2009
Win Mo and Zune MS Layoffs
Microsoft's mobile and entertainment teams may be facing the brunt of the company's 1,400 immediate layoffs, according to sources for journalist Mary Jo Foley. Although it was the client division that handles desktop Windows and Office whose revenues declined year-over-year in the fall, most of the near-term job cuts are allegedly taking place in the Entertainment and Devices group that handles Windows Mobile, Xbox 360 consoles and Zune media players. Windows engineering chief Steven Sinofsky has reportedly said his operating system division isn't affected by any of the cuts.
A breakdown of which specific device teams are affected isn't available, nor are the particular types of jobs being cut.
Microsoft is nonetheless known to have a mixed track record in the hardware-focused group. The Xbox division is increasingly considered the most successful and sold six million consoles this holiday in addition to first-party games and third-party licenses. Windows Mobile has also slightly performed slightly below average and missed sales targets this past fiscal year despite the smartphone market growing well in excess of Microsoft's share. Microsoft has rarely posted Zune results beyond reaching the initial million-unit mark in mid-2007 and is believed to have had little success in expanding its market share since then.
Other sub-groups within Microsoft are also believed to be laying off staff and include the Online Services and Microsoft Business unit, which operates within the client section and handles Office as well as some other professional apps.