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02.15.09

More Microsoft Products Shut Down, Possibly Related to Quiet Layoffs

Posted in Microsoft, Servers at 9:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Closed neon sign

MICROSOFT’S BIG LAYOFFS are off the headlines for the time being, despite the fact that many more are likely to come and more layoffs have already come since the big announcement. Although we wrote about it some days ago, here is another report about additional Microsoft layoffs that are being almost ignored by large media sites.

Fresh layoffs at Microsoft-owned (MSFT) ad agency Razorfish, with 70 employees being let go (4% of the workforce) in Seattle, Portland, San Fran, and LA. That follows thousands of layoffs at Microsoft generally, and 40 positions cut from Razorfish in New York in November.

In other news that the media was shockingly quiet about, Microsoft PerformancePoint Server seems to be dead.

Microsoft has surprised the market by announcing its intention to stop selling PerformancePoint Server as a standalone product, just 17 months after its original launch.

Looking back at coverage, it all happened very quietly in a fashion which resembles other ‘foldings’ of products that include WinFS. As for other units, some people forgot all about Bungie Studios, which Microsoft betrayed and abused. This new story about Microsoft Flight Simulator brings back this debate.

On the Venturebeat blog, Dean Takahashi notes “In the past year or so, Microsoft has shut down or divested itself of a lot of its hit-making studios. It recently decided to close Ensemble Studios, maker of the Age of Empires strategy games, and spun out Bungie, the maker of Halo games.”

In addition, Ensemble makes a comeback into the news.

Shortly after the announced the move, Age of Empires creator Bruce Shelley took to his blog to explain Microsoft’s financially motivated rationale for closing Ensemble. As part of his post, he revealed that a portion of Ensemble’s leadership team had plans to set up a new development outfit, headed up by current studio chief and founder Tony Goodman.

That’s quite a few gaming divisions that Microsoft pretty much shut down (there are more recent closures). And in other gaming news, XBox360 disasters are rumoured to be back.

Xbox 360 Update Triggers Red Ring of Death Rumors

[...]

Hysteria can make elephants out of mosquitos, so when I say there’s a new Xbox 360 “red ring of death” rumor running rampant, digest with caution and sangfroid, dear reader.

The panicked dispatch in question comes from a thread over at Microsoft’s official Xbox forums titled “Todays [sic] Update Red Ringed my 360?” The message was posted on February 4th by a perplexed user and reads as follows…

Microsoft already stands trials for its XBox360 failures (caused by negligence). The company has lost billions of dollars in this area.

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