Skip to main content

Microsoft is laying off another 2,850 employees, mostly from its mobile division

windows 10 mobile anniversary update launch
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Google’s parent company Alphabet added 9,427 employees in the last quarter according to its earnings report, but Microsoft is doing the opposite — again. The Redmond company’s 10-K filing says it is planning on laying off 2,850 employees within the next 12 months.

Microsoft has been laying off thousands of employees since 2015 — it first announced 7,800 job cuts last July, most of which were tied to its mobile division. Then it sold off Nokia’s feature phone business to HMD Group for $350 million, and transferred 4,500 employees to FIH Mobile — a subsidiary of Foxconn and HMD. In the same month it announced 1,850 job cuts — 1,350 of which were from its mobile division in Finland. Finally, it hardly mentioned Windows Phone at its Build 2016, its annual developer conference. Notice a trend?

The new job cuts are an “extension” of a restructuring plan, and they still primarily affect Microsoft’s phone hardware and sales divisions.

“In the fourth quarter of 2016, management approved restructuring plans that would result in job eliminations, primarily across our smartphone hardware business and global sales,” the company says in the 10-K filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission. “In addition to the elimination of 1,850 positions that were announced in May 2016, approximately 2,850 roles globally will be reduced during the year as an extension of the earlier plan, and these actions are expected to be completed by the end of fiscal year 2017.”

Is it safe to say that Microsoft’s mobile interests are dead? Probably not, as rumors of a Surface Phone continue to bubble. Still, these job cuts are certainly not a good sign for anyone hoping for a Windows Mobile come back. Microsoft did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Microsoft announced its fourth quarter earnings last week, and the company reported $5.5 billion in net income. In the SEC filing, the company also mentions exactly how many Lumia and other phones it sold in the 2016 fiscal year.

“Phone revenue decreased $4.2 billion or 56 percent, as we sold 13.8 million Microsoft Lumia phones and 75.5 million other phones in fiscal year 2016, compared with 36.8 million and 126.8 million sold, respectively, in fiscal year 2015.”

Microsoft’s Windows Phone market share sank below 1 percent in May, according to Gartner’s sales report. The company recently had to scale back its estimates of having Windows 10 on 1 billion devices by 2018 — in part due to poor Windows 10 Mobile sales.

Still, the company is doing well with its cloud business, and revenue from its Surface lineup increased 13 percent, thanks to the release of the Surface Pro 4, the Surface Book, and the Surface Pro 3.

Editors' Recommendations

Julian Chokkattu
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Julian is the mobile and wearables editor at Digital Trends, covering smartphones, fitness trackers, smartwatches, and more…
Microsoft is finally refreshing the Surface Studio 2 (four years later)
Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ sitting flat on a table.

Almost four years ago to the day, Microsoft released the Surface Studio 2, which we called "a true Mac killer" in our Surface Studio 2 review. It has fallen our of favor as Apple switching to the M1 iMac over the past couple of years, but Microsoft is finally answering back with the aptly named Surface Studio 2+, announced during Microsoft's fall hardware event.

It's a revision to the model released a few years back, at least based on the name. But under the hood, the Surface Studio 2+ is an all-new machine. You're now getting an 11th-gen Intel mobile processor, which Microsoft says is "50% faster" than the previous Surface Studio. Even that's an understatement. The previous version was stuck with a 7th-gen Intel processor that was dated when it was released.

Read more
Surface Pro 9: What to expect from Microsoft’s next 2-in-1
The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 in tablet mode.

Microsoft's Surface Pro 8 gave us what we wanted, with slim bezels, a gorgeous 120Hz display, and decent battery life. Now, we're only a few weeks out from Microsoft announcing a new Surface Pro 9. What will it look like? How will it perform? Thankfully, there are enough rumors to give us a decent picture of what to expect.

The Surface Pro 9 isn't expected to blow your mind. It is most likely going to be a minor update with a few tweaks to the Surface Pro line. Still, Microsoft is no slouch when it comes to development, and they could add some interesting features here and there.

Read more
T-Mobile adding a free year of Apple TV+ to its most expensive plans
Apple TV icon on Apple TV.

T-Mobile today announced that it's giving subscribers to its most expensive mobile plan a free subscription to Apple TV+, which normally costs $60 a year. Those who are subscribed to the Magenta Max plan — which costs $85 a month for a single line — will get Apple's streaming service for free. If you've got T-Mobile's Magenta plan, which costs $70 a month for one line, you'll get six months of Apple TV+ for free.

The perk takes effect on August 31, 2022, and it's good for the foreseeable future. (A previous version of this story stated it was just for one year, but that's legacy copy on T-Mobile's website for the old perk that's being supplanted.)

Read more