back to article Microsoft hits Alt-F4 on 3,000 global sales staff

Microsoft today announced it is dumping 3,000 workers. Rumors of the layoffs have been swirling all week. On Thursday, the Windows giant confirmed that it is trimming its ranks. It's understood that the vast majority of the job losses will be in sales, and staff outside the US will be hardest hit. "Microsoft is implementing …

  1. fobobob

    Hopefully making room for some internal QA staffers?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Microsoft started its downward spiral with the Metro interface for Windows, and has never recovered.

      Sinofsky will be remembered in history as the man who killed Micosoft.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Sinofsky will be remembered in history as the man who killed Micosoft

        I'm quite sure this honor will be awarded to Nadella. His deliberate borking of products across all the company, and acts to alienate even the most loyal customers deserve it fully.

        1. Bob Vistakin

          Re: Sinofsky will be remembered in history as the man who killed Micosoft

          Sinofsky will also be remembered for demonstrating the quality of their internet "explorer" with a majestic sweep of his arm.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sinofsky will be remembered in history as the man who killed Micosoft

          They were never all that impressive. From a business perspective, Gates was a great strategist in getting the PC industry to build itself around MSFT in the 90s. From a tech perspective, they were always just copiers of other peoples' ideas. Windows was a copy of Mac, Office was a copy of Lotus/WordPerfect and other, Windows Server was DEC VMS, or the decent parts, MS SQL was straight Sybase... literally copied it in that case, Xbox is Playstation, etc. I think what got them in trouble is that they started believing their own marketing and thinking of themselves as innovators. That has never been their strength.

          1. LDS Silver badge

            "Windows was a copy of Mac"

            Just like the Mac was a copy of Xerox Alto? Like Lotus 1-2-3 was a copy of Visicalc? WordPerfect came after WordStar.

            Copying is a pretty common standard in any industry. Just you need to be able to copy well.

        3. steamnut

          Re: Sinofsky will be remembered in history as the man who killed Micosoft

          What about "developers developers developers developers " Ballmer?

          His cash burn on Nokia would have covered these salaries for quite a while.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "His cash burn on Nokia would have covered"

            Who burned the cash on Nokia? Ballmer who acquired it, or Nadella who shut it down, also sending a lot of skills to competition, while still trying to keep Windows Phone alive?

            Ballmer at least had a strategy, albeit maybe a flawed one, Nadella looks just trying to to throw things at the wall to check what sticks.

            Also it looks it's Nadella obsessed with the cloud/subscription model.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Balmer killed Microsoft

        70% Xbox failure rate, dirty tactics to cover it up, viral marketing, defensive marketing campaigns all of which destroyed user trust.

        You can't just stand up on stage and chant developers developers developers whilst everything is on fire.

        You mist have quality products above all else, and Microsoft simply don't have very many of those at all.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Balmer killed Microsoft

          Agree, the aggressive "viral" (in quotes because only MSFT was spreading it) marketing campaigns made a fool of MSFT. Like the "scroogled" campaign where they tried to convince people not to use Chromebooks or Google in general (despite MSFT doing the same things they were complaining about). Just looked petty and ridiculous.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's SatNad

      He got his Insiders clique to do 'QA' for free.

      If things screw up, you can always depend on always-on mandatory Windows updates to fix them.

      "Windows as a Service". The new normal, ladies and gentlemen.

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Hopefully making room for some internal QA staffers?

      Or, more likely, better bonuses for high-level managers..

    4. LDS Silver badge

      Hopefully making room for some internal QA staffers?

      No, I guess they're looking for WannaCry and NotPetya developers to write the next Windows 10 installer...

  2. DagD

    Does this mean an end to the extortion calls?

    You know... the "our account shows you need to buy X more copies of our product to keep your status with us" calls?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Does this mean an end to the extortion calls?

      There will just be a menacing van with Victor the Lawyer doing daily rounds, creating management sweatstains,

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Yes, pardon the not-so-politically-correct topic. Bite me.

    I like Windows. You heard that one right. I'm also a FreeBSD user who "grew up" with Linux while having had a huge taste of Sun Solaris at work (company funded educational process, but because you couldn't buy Solaris/x86 for reasonable prices back then I ended up using Linux as a substitute). In the end I seriously admire Unix and all it stands for and the legacy it provides, but I also still like Windows. For what it is, what it can do and what you can do with it.

    It's not easy to try and cater to the mindless masses. We all know better, right? Exactly!.

    But Microsoft has their heads so way stuck up in the dark places where no sun shines that they're totally oblivious to the obvious. And nothing we say or do will help them. And the only reason I'm writing all this is because I actually care. YES Microsoft is evil, you damn betcha. Just look at Netscape. But wake up call: all (/most?) companies are. In the end only 1 thing matters: revenue.

    The one thing you can say about Microsoft is that they're not hiding their ideas under stools or tables. Of course that doesn't make things any better (damn you for your braindead Win10 tactics, I'm appalled that no one ever bothered to try and sue your asses off! (keyword: try)). Yes, I really like Windows, why you ask?

    See.. my problem with this whole thing is that its obvious they're not even bothering to try and re-invent their ways. They had opportunities thrown into their lap and ignored them and stumbled over it.

    There is a huge realization growing that Google isn't the greatest of ideas anymore. Too little too late perhaps, but even so. Microsoft never bothered to even try and monetize on that, instead they forcefed us Windows 10. Only Apple showed balls by denying the feds and boy did it do wonders for them (you DO still remember that we got the NSA (American Secret Service) to thank for the massive outbreak of ransomware, right?).

    They have all this potential, yet they don't even try to use it. And when looking at the latest Skype they still haven't managed to get a frickin' clue that the times where they dominated the market are a thing off the past.

    I think it's safe to say that the enforced Win10 upgraded scared more people away to tablets (and distrust Microsoft) than it did to help ensure the market position. Oh I know the statistics. But I also know how to read them beyond the marketing crap.

    How does one count a computer converted to Win10 which the owner only uses to check e-mail and does everything else on their tablets? I call that a lost sale, because there is no way in heck that they'll ever going to buy into the Win10 marketplace. I also call it a liability because as soon as someone tells them: "Linux can do that too!" they're gone.

    Microsoft calls this an active user. They converted, they're still using the machine, it's a potential target.

    And of course Microsoft is sure to include them into their annual shares: "20% of our users are happily using Windows 10". Of course, in their definition: not complaining = happy. And "Not complaining because I don't know how and as soon as I find a way out I'll move all of my stuff from this computer onto another and then I don't want anyhting to do with Microsoft at all" doesn't fit the pre-determined stats.

    No.. Let's forcefeed the users even MORE crap after they already complained about Win8, Visual Studio and Win10. Heeeeere's Johny.. Errr: the new Skype app.

    In Holland we have a saying: "Een ezel in het algemeen stoot zichzelf geen driemaal aan dezelfde steen". I'm very fluent with English, I don't know all the sayings though. "A mule generally doesn't hurt itself three times on the same rock". Or: "you don't make the same mistake three times".

    As shown above: Microsoft does. As such my title post: dumbasses.

    You could be SO much more :(

    1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Re: Dumbasses!

      Oh the updated Skype... No no no just no, it's wrong wrong wrong. Make Skype For Business work more like real Skype, not the other way round. It's not that hard. But no.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dumbasses!

        Your suggestion would mean that non-business Skype users are loonies who love that revamped Skype. Only the business folks can get a sane UI.

        How about making Skype for rational human beings? If the millennials and trendies want Snapchat, they would use Snapchat, not a poor imitation of it.

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Dumbasses!

      ShelLuser, heartily agree. Slurp needs to make some hard choices and listen to their customers. Companies that fail to listen to their customers and stay abreast of market trends will eventually die. It may be lingering death but they will die. Bloat10 should have kept the W7 interface with a few minor tweaks. Also, Slurp has not adjusted to the fact that their core products are mature products and have been for years.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Their core products are mature products

        And some are suffering from senile dementia.

        It's the only way they can get people to drool over their products.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10 social timeline

    Get psyched people because it's coming. The feature that will make your digital life complete.

    With Windows social timeline, all your activity will automatically be published to your cloud. Friends and co-workers will be able to like, share and emoji every document edit, photo, and email.

    Look out for your free forced update. Coming soon!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 10 social timeline

      Imagine all the wonderful things on that timeline if Windows 10 is driving your house IoT hub. The wonderful videos of you adoring your children, abusing your wife (oops), taking a dump (double oops)...

      Maybe not...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 10 social timeline

      Cloud is just a fancy way of saying 'other people's computers'.

      Therefore, saying 'my cloud', denoting personal ownership, is an oxymoron.

      If/when Microsoft starts forcing every Windows user to use a Microsoft account (forcing, not coercing, nagging or encouraging), you know the end is near.

      There may be variations e.g. 'Log in to your Microsoft account to get Windows updates/drivers/patches' or 'You need a Microsoft account to enable enterprise features on Windows'.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Windows 10 social timeline

        Cloud is just a fancy way of saying 'other people's computers'.

        Therefore, saying 'my cloud', denoting personal ownership, is an oxymoron.

        Not always. I have a 'cloud'[1] service running from one of my spare bedrooms[2]. On my server, using my electricity.

        [1] Called NextCloud. Used to be OneCloud but, one day there was a thunderstorm and OneCloud evaporated.

        [2] It's never had a bed in it. And it has aircon and a reasonable UPS. But still, technically, a bedroom. And very useful when coming back from walking the dog - 10 minutes sitting in there cools you down nicely.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows 10 social timeline

        Well not just "other people's computers"... the cloud providers are doing things completely differently than the average data center, much more efficiently, and at about 10,000x scale.

        Agree that it the term "private cloud" makes no sense. The definition of cloud is that you just pull resources down immediately as needed and hand them back at anytime. Only pay for exactly what you are using at any time. Never needing to own anything. The compute is just so ubiquitous and easy to access it is as though it is coming down from a cloud... You can argue that cloud doesn't make sense to utilize... but it so clearly does make sense that the VMwares of the world are trying to confuse the terms.

  5. Herby

    So a few less arm twisters are around.

    Who knows, they might even call the left overs "sales" and not "insurance salesmen" for the protection racket (see BSA for details).

    Then again I always thought they had "extortionists" trying to squeeze every last dollar out the unsuspecting directly, or indirectly.

    Me? No, I don't use Windows, at work, or at home, thankfully.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Microsoft is implementing changes to better serve our customers and partner...

    I knew it! The next Windows update installs Linux.

  7. Bob Vistakin

    Not good news for you, El Reg

    The ad traffic from the paid shills to these forums must be covering more than a few liquid lunches for you all - what's gonna happen when they all crawl back under their rocks?

  8. BongoJoe

    These boxes

    I've never understood people who take stuff home in a box. A potted plant, for goodness' sake?

    I would simply put what would fit into my pockets and then perhaps consider a small desktop fire for the rest.

    Perhaps this may explain why when I was last 'let go' I was told just so over a beer in a remote pub.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: These boxes

      You know, there are people that likes to have some personal items at the office, like a portrait, personal hygiene items, books, etc. Until not a long ago I had coffee and tea sets to prepare something better than what available from the vending machines. Now I've been moved to a different site and the securitate here doesn't allow unapproved tea or coffee machines, for safety reasons. I guess they get bribes from the vending machine companies, <G>

      The there are those who adorn a desktop only with empty pizza boxes.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft still in business??

    How can a company with such a high percentage of shitty products still be in business???

    Long overdue a collapse in share price

    1. Tejekion

      Re: Microsoft still in business??

      Well Intel has been in business a lot longer....look at their long list of shite products.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft still in business??

      Ill-gotten gains from decades of monopoly (Microsoft-speak: 'innovation'). And Microsoft is astute enough to use that money to make various acquisitions.

  10. psychonaut

    the picture

    looks like the second guy has a penishand sticking through the box. its probably full of popcorn to scare the girls

  11. Tejekion

    The saddest part of the story is the title.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The rationale for this decision makes no sense. Judson Althoff, global head of sales, said that they are making these changes to focus on a "$4.5 trillion opportunity" (i.e. cloud). Apart from the $4.5 trillion being over done, if a company thinks they are going to have a tremendous new market opportunity, wouldn't you hire more sales people... not cut sales people? Especially as it is by no means clear that people will use Azure... without MSFT wrapping Azure into EAs, it would probably be a small business.

    I wonder if by "sales" they mean sales operations and roles in the sales org which were not specifically selling to customers... more sales support type roles.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They are going into a cycle where the core business is declining and cost cuts will be used to continue to keep the dividend and buybacks rolling.

  13. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    I'm just imagining how the meeting to decide this went

    "We need to sell more cloud, how do we do that?"

    "We concentrate on sales"


    "By selling things"

    "How do we sell more things?"

    "We sack 3,000 sales staff?"

    "Brilliant. Give this man a pay rise and an gold-plated MBA".

  14. Updraft102

    "It's understood that the vast majority of the job losses will be in sales..."

    "Microsoft is implementing changes to better serve our customers and partners,"

    Well, given what MS is selling, I think canning part the sales department would definitely qualify as an improvement. Can they get rid of marketing too? Try that and some people who know software may actually be able to have some sway in decision-making... MS may even make something people want yet again.

  15. silks

    Maybe MS products are so compelling that they sell themselves...

    [See icon in case of query]

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Microsoft is implementing changes to better serve our customers and partners"

    This kind of condescending PR-speak really infuriates me.

    Microsoft has virtually perfected the science and the art of this type of corporate communications babble.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone Surprised?

    The Cloud is the answer. What was the question?

    Msft are a nasty employer. Where they can (where law permits, namely not Germany or France). They routinely rank there employees against each other in a high subjective manner. Then they get rid of the bottom 20% every year through one method or another.

    No loyalty to staff, little loyalty from staff. Seemingly less so from customers and suppliers. BUT huge critical mass (read: $$$$s). US Tech Giants eh?

    Don't worry though, the Cloud will save us all....

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