Get ready for LAYOFFS: Nadella's coma-inducing memo, with subtitles

Six-pager sent to human race, cc Redmond staff


Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has sent a six-page memo to the world warning of a company restructure at the end of the month.

The open letter uses buzzwords and cliches to sugar-coat the news that he will tear up the Windows giant's approach to flogging devices and services.

Instead, the biz will focus on building "productivity" software for all – think MS Office on Google Android, for instance.

In fact, the big cheese used the word "productivity" on 20 occasions in the letter. Nadella pledged to make products such as personal assistant Cortana, Skype and Office 365 essential parts of daily life.

"We have described ourselves as a 'devices and services' company. While the devices and services description was helpful in starting our transformation, we now need to hone in on our unique strategy," Nadella wrote.

"We have a rich heritage and a unique capability around building productivity experiences and platforms. We help people get stuff done. Stuff like term papers, recipes and budgets."

Wes Miller, research vice-president at Directions on Microsoft, told The Register the IT goliath is shifting away from its decades-old a-PC-running-Windows solution to everything. For example, the cloud-heavy Office for iPad has emerged, and the Windows Azure cloud was rebranded Microsoft Azure and now supports Android app development.

"[With] the first example of Office for the iPad, you're playing on the strength of a service to go to heterogeneous platforms, and you're doing it in a way, from Microsoft's accounting perspective, that doesn't cost anything more," Miller said.

In the short term, however, a fresh round of pink slips are likely on the way. The biz employs 127,000 worldwide.

"Going into the Nokia acquisition, you had to know there were going to be some redundancies," Miller told us.

"You had a lot of duplication across the Windows team, the Windows Phone team and the incoming Nokia team."

But Microsoft is unlikely to abandon its games console gear, phones and Surface tablets. Nadella, writing in his memo, reaffirmed the corp's commitment to the Xbox, and Miller believes that the company will similarly back Surface in the coming years.

Nadella said the particulars of the restructure are still being decided, and will be announced on 22 July when the company posts its latest quarterly earnings. In the meantime, speculation will abound on who will be spared and who will be cut. ®

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