Microsoft is laying off employees in the divisions that make its Zune music player , Microsoft Office software, and Live Search site, but not in the group preparing its Windows 7 operating system, according to anonymous postings Thursday by purported Microsoft employees.
At the popular Mini-Microsoft blog, alleged former, current and just-laid-off employees of the software maker shared information about the layoffs, of which 1,400 are to be announced by the end of Thursday.
"Well I got the The Meeting this morning when I came in," wrote one anonymous poster. "I've been a dev here for 6 years and I'm in the mid-70 percent category and my managers and HR relation assured me that this was not related to my reviews.
"I am just unlucky to be completely new in this team so I knew I was in a volatile position already," the poster continued. "The package is decent - I'll essentially get full pay and benefits for six months incl. the 60 days of internal job seeking."
Five thousand jobs will eventually be cut from Microsoft's workforce of 96,000, which has grown quickly in recently years due to acquisitions and hiring. But Microsoft plans to continue to hire, meaning that the net job reduction over the next 18 months will be between 2,000 and 3,000 jobs.
In its announcement Thursday, Microsoft said it plans to cut jobs in research and development, marketing, sales, finance, legal, human resources and IT over the next 18 months.
A Microsoft spokeswoman declined to comment on the postings at Mini-Microsoft.
"What I can tell you is that the majority of individuals impacted by today's job eliminations are being notified today," she said, with some employees outside of the U.S. potentially hearing Friday in their local time.
Some posters at Mini-Microsoft claimed that Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices division is being hit hard by layoffs. E&D makes the Xbox 360 game console, the Windows Mobile operating system and the Zune music player.
According to second-quarter earnings released Thursday, E&D's operating income fell 60% to US$151 million, dragged down by a $100 million drop in the sale of Zune music players. Sales of Xbox 360 consoles, however, grew strongly, helping lift revenue 3 percent to US$3.18 billion.
Cuts were also reported in the Microsoft Business Division, which sells the popular Office suite as well as its Dynamics CRM software, the Online Services Business which runs the struggling Live Search site, and the Global Foundation Services, which runs all of Microsoft's Web services, such as MSN and Windows Live.