mslogo

Microsoft’s contractor crackdown: ‘Shadow layoff’ could force big cultural changes inside company

Microsoft employed about 100,000 people directly prior to its acquisition of Nokia’s smartphone business. That’s the employment number the company reports publicly — the “blue badges” who make up the core of its workforce. But in addition to those employees, more than 71,000 worked with Microsoft as “orange badges” — contractors, vendors and other contingent staff who do a ton of work… Read More

microsoftlogo1-1024x680

Internal memo: Microsoft to cut off all ‘external staff’ after 18 months, imposing mandatory 6-month break

An internal Microsoft memo, distributed earlier today, outlines new restrictions on the company’s use of “external staff” — including a new limit on people who work on projects for Microsoft through vendors. All contingent workers will be prevented from accessing Microsoft’s buildings and network for a period of six months after every 18-month period in which they perform work for the company, according to the memo. Perhaps most notably,… Read More

Satya Nadella

Nadella earns high marks from Microsoft employees, outpacing Ballmer, prior to this week’s job cuts

The psychological impact of Microsoft’s job cuts is still rippling through the company’s workforce, but CEO Satya Nadella has the advantage of a very high approval ratings from employees prior to the cuts. Numbers provided to GeekWire by the Glassdoor employment review and ratings site put Nadella’s cumulative approval rating at 88 percent. That’s well above the average CEO approval… Read More

xboxone2121

Xbox One August update includes mobile purchasing, new social features, low battery notifications

Microsoft is rolling out another update for Xbox One owners beginning next week, and gamers will see several new additional features on their console. Here’s a rundown of some of the new updates: Mobile purchasing: You’ll be able to buy games remotely on a mobile device using Xbox SmartGlass or Xbox.com, and have them automatically… Read More

4-Hero-mixradio-2000x1000-jpg

Nokia’s MixRadio streaming service hopes to spin off from Microsoft amid layoffs

Nokia’s MixRadio music streaming service is aiming to spin off from Microsoft as a part of the layoffs the company announced yesterday. The service will still be pre-loaded onto Windows Phone handsets, but a successfully spun off MixRadio would also have the ability to make apps for other platforms, including Android and iOS, according to a… Read More

satya

With difficult cutbacks, Satya Nadella starts to make his mark on Microsoft

When Satya Nadella was named Microsoft’s CEO earlier this year, one of the concerns among investors was that the company veteran would maintain the status quo, largely sticking to the gameplan laid out by his predecessor, Steve Ballmer. This morning Nadella made it clear that won’t be the case, cutting 18,000 jobs in the largest layoffs in Microsoft… Read More

microsoftway

Microsoft cuts will also hit ‘shadow workforce,’ going beyond announced layoffs

Microsoft’s decision to cut 18,000 jobs from its workforce represents the largest round of layoffs in the company’s history, but it also understates the impact on the company and the job market. In addition to those core cuts, the company is aiming to significantly reduce its reliance on contingent workers — the thousands of vendors and contractors who… Read More

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. (Microsoft file photo)

Full text: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explains big job cuts

Long-term progress will require short-term pain. That’s one of the underlying messages delivered by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella today as he outlined his plan to streamline Microsoft’s engineering as part of a larger set of 18,000 job cuts at the company. Here’s the full text of Nadella’s email to employees, made public by Microsoft. From: Satya… Read More

microsoftlogo1-1024x680

Microsoft cutting 18,000 jobs, 14% of company, in largest layoffs in its history

Microsoft will cut 18,000 jobs over the next year, including 12,500 related to its acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services business, the company confirmed this morning. The overall figure represents about 14 percent of the 127,000 people employed by the company as of last month. It’s the largest job reduction in the company’s history — a major… Read More

xboxonenokinect

Xbox One sales double, one month after $100 price cut

Offering up a cheaper Xbox One is helping Microsoft sell quite a bit more consoles. The company announced today that since it began selling a $399 version of the Xbox One without the Kinect sensor on June 9 — a $100 price cut from the Xbox One with Kinect — sales doubled in one month. We’ll have more… Read More

microsoftlogo1-1024x680

Major Microsoft job cuts expected on Thursday

Microsoft will announce layoffs on Thursday that “substantially exceed” the largest job cuts in the company’s history, according to a New York Times report this afternoon, citing unnamed people who have been briefed on the company’s plan. Clues cited by the newspaper include tell-tale conference room reservations by human resource managers, which is traditionally the… Read More

VIVE_HERO_SHOT

Can a wristband prevent sexual assault? UW concept brings sensors to the party

You’re at a club, dancing to a great DJ, and suddenly your wristband vibrates, signaling that one of your friends hasn’t responded to her wristband’s attempt to make sure she’s still conscious and in control. So you search the club and find your friend, extracting her from a potentially dangerous situation. That’s one of the core features of Vive,… Read More

insteon

Cortana can turn off the lights: Insteon home automation app to integrate with Microsoft’s assistant

One of the features of Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant in Windows Phone 8.1 is the ability to integrate the technology into third-party apps, and the home automation company Insteon provided an early example this morning — saying that users of its Windows Phone app will be able to speak to Cortana to dim the lights and adjust the temperature,… Read More

salon

‘Sensor Salon’ brings LCD screens, 3D-printed objects and sensors to fingernails

The maker movement is coming to the nail salon. That’s the vision of students from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., who presented their “Sensor Salon” project at Microsoft today — explaining how they created a prototype salon that brought together experts in design and development to create made-to-order technology for a client’s nails. Technologies… Read More