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Microsoft has announced that they will be laying off 7,800 employees over the course of the next few months leading into the holiday season. The layoffs will take place globally and for those of you wondering, no it's not from the Xbox brand.
Over on the official Microsoft website CEO Satya Nadella made a blog post to explain exactly what the company is doing with their product line and where they're heading next. For the most part a lot of the restructuring will take place around their phone division. The 7,800 employees getting the axe come primarily from Microsoft's phone business.
According to Nadella, it's stated...
I am committed to our first-party devices including phones. However, we need to focus our phone efforts in the near term while driving reinvention. We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem that includes our first-party device family.
This is probably a huge sigh of relief for Xbox gamers because when you see a major number like 7,800 you're probably instantly thinking about one of the Microsoft brands that isn't doing so great. However, the phone division definitely fits that description.
Now this isn't to say that none of the 7,800 being laid off are coming out of other divisions, because the wording definitely infers that “most” will be from the phone division, so it's still possible that there could be some trimmings in other brands as well. However, Nadella focuses mostly on the phones and the enterprise integration for bolstering the appeal of their current heavy hitters through search collaborations with AOL. Yes, of all companies... AOL.
Microsoft has struggled to get Bing to come up to par so by partnering with AOL in advertising and trying to raise the appeal of services like Bing they're likely hoping this stretches across the entire company.
Funnily enough, there's actually no mention at all about the Xbox brand, despite a lot of gamers worrying over how well the division is doing and whether or not Microsoft will make trimmings out of the oftentimes troubled but popular division.
In the past there were a lot of rumblings about some board members wanting to axe the Xbox brand altogether or sell it to the tune of $8 billion. However, after Phil Spencer and the rest of the team completely reworked the way the console is viewed in the marketplace and they cut the price and altered many of the Mattrick-era policies the Xbox One has done yet another 180 as far as market perception and mind-share goes in the core gaming communities.
The Xbox brand also has a strong fall ahead of it with big first-party exclusives like Forza Motorsport 6 and Halo 5 set for release. More than anything, gamers should be happy that “Xbox” was mentioned not once in the post by Nadella because it means that it's not on the executive board's radar and when a topic of cost-cutting measures come into play, not being on the radar is a very good thing.