If you're getting tired of reading tech stories about layoffs, I apologize in advance, but I'm duty-bound to tell you, Microsoft is laying off 5,000 workers over the next 18 months, which is nearly five percent of its total workforce. The tech giant's total profits for the fourth quarter of 2008 declined to $4.17 billion from $4.71 billion in the same period last year, so heads will roll.
It's apparently not the Xbox's fault, though: Profits in Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division rose 3% over last year's fourth quarter to $3.18 billion. But the division had less revenue in the second half of 2008 than it did in the second half of 2007 -- $4.99 billion versus $5.02 billion. Why is this? Probably because no one is buying the Zune and there was no huge game release like Halo 3 in 2008.
The cuts are coming in the areas of R&D, marketing, sales, finance, legal, HR, and IT. "The decision to eliminate jobs is a very difficult one," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a company-wide memo. "Our people are the foundation of everything we have achieved and we place the highest value on the commitment and hard work that you have dedicated to building this company."
For their part, Sony said it's posting a $2.9 billion annual operating loss for the year to March. But hey, look on the bright side, things seem pretty solid over at Nintendo...