The breezy sound of pink slips rustling in the wind…Microsoft to lay off 1400 today.

The hurt keeps on coming.  This morning Microsoft announced their 2nd quarter results and with the global economy still limping along, put plans in place to lay off 5,000 staff over the next 18 months, included 1400 who got their pink slips today.

Always go to the source:  http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2009/jan09/01-22fy09Q2earnings.mspx

In light of the further deterioration of global economic conditions, Microsoft announced additional steps to manage costs, including the reduction of headcount-related expenses, vendors and contingent staff, facilities, capital expenditures and marketing. As part of this plan, Microsoft will eliminate up to 5,000 jobs in R&D, marketing, sales, finance, legal, HR, and IT over the next 18 months, including 1,400 jobs today. These initiatives will reduce the company’s annual operating expense run rate by approximately $1.5 billion and reduce fiscal year 2009 capital expenditures by $700 million.

Business Outlook

“Economic activity and IT spend slowed beyond our expectations in the quarter, and we acted quickly to reduce our cost structure and mitigate its impact,” said Chris Liddell, chief financial officer at Microsoft. “We are planning for economic uncertainty to continue through the remainder of the fiscal year, almost certainly leading to lower revenue and earnings for the second half relative to the previous year. In this environment, we will focus on outperforming our competitors and addressing our cost structure.”

And for stockholders, Microsoft is not going to make projections to the end of the fiscal year, given the volatility and uncertainty of the global economy.  What that really means, is that no one can figure out what the heck is going on and how long this deterioration is going to continue.  Tough day for Microsoft employees.

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