Just two weeks ago, the company's fortunes seemed hopeful. Microsoft said that its quarterly earnings beat analysts' expectations and its newest operating system, Windows 7, sprinted out of the gate. This drove up stock prices and lead to thoughts that maybe the worst was behind them.
But today we're reminded of the company's promise in January to slash 5,000 jobs by summer 2010. In this latest round, some 800 employees will receive pink slips.
This is a smaller wave of loses than the first two, according to Techflash, who broke the news today. "However, the new layoffs are expected to take the company beyond the original plan."
ZDNet confirmed the 800 number with Microsoft and reported that the company "has now cut 5,800 positions total since January and indicated that -- while no one is willing to say definitively that no more cuts are coming -- Microsoft has exceeded its headcount reduction commitments" – something that CEO Steve Ballmer had said was a possibility.
So, are more layoffs ahead? It's hard to tell. The company has already needed to cut some important positions, such as Don Dodge, Microsoft's Director of Business Development for the Emerging Business Team. TechCrunch lamented Dodge's departure with an entire article on why letting him go was a "huge mistake."
He nearly singlehandedly defends the Microsoft brand in a fairly anti-Microsoft developer and user community. For many people in the startup community, Don is the face of Microsoft. He travels constantly, speaking at events whenever he's asked, and makes a big effort to give young startups the attention they deserve. This is a guy who gives a heck of a lot more to the community than he ever takes back.
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