From the sinking of one big ship
rises a new freer generation
Summary: The lesser-reported changes among Microsoft’s staff cuts; protests are proving futile
THREE DAYS AGO we wrote about quiet Microsoft layoffs, dissent from Microsoft employees, and dissent from Microsoft investors. For the sake of background, more of the relevant links already appear in this previous analysis of Microsoft’s workforce crumble (affecting subsidiaries, temps, and those who are on contract first, in addition to approximately 5,000 full-time employees). As many more redundancies were expected to hit Microsoft, it’s not particularly shocking to find this further new degradation:
Microsoft cutbacks spreading to bigger population of contractors
Microsoft’s cutbacks are starting to spread to the larger group of contractors who work on projects for the company through outside vendors — commonly known as “v-dash” workers. It’s not clear how widespread the cuts will be, but some Microsoft vendors have been contacted by internal teams about cutting the budgets for projects currently under way by as much as 15 to 20 percent.
I stopped by the main entrance to the Microsoft campus Wednesday evening hoping to catch up with Phil Palios, the Microsoft contract worker who organized the protest of the pay cuts affecting company’s temporary workforce. Palios had said he planned to stand vigil at the site every evening for two weeks. But the corner was empty.
Since then, things have only gotten worse.
All in all, this bodes badly for the company. That’s why it’s attacking GNU/Linux right now. █
“[If I ask you who is Microsoft's biggest competitor now, who would it be?] Open…Linux. I don’t want to say open source. Linux, certainly have to go with that.”
–Steve Ballmer (Microsoft’s CEO), February 28th, 2008