There have been rumors for the past month or so that Microsoft was planning to do more layoffs. On May 5, the rumor became reality, with Microsoft announcing wave two of the already announced job cuts.
Microsoft officials announced in January that it planned to cut a total of 5,000 employees between the start of this year and June 2010. Microsoft cut more than 1,000 jobs by April. Today's round involves most of the remaining 3,000+ folks who had yet to be notified.
An email allegedly sent by CEO Steve Ballmer to employees on May 5 made it sound as though this is round two of the already announced cuts. But Ballmer didn't rule out additional ones. From that e-mail:
"With this announcement, we are mostly but not all done with the planned 5,000 job eliminations by June 2010. We are moving quickly to reach this target in response to consistent feedback from our people and business groups that it’s important to make decisions and reduce uncertainty for employees as quickly as possible, and so that organizations can concentrate their efforts and resources on strategic objectives.
"As we move forward, we will continue to closely monitor the impact of the economic downturn on the company and if necessary, take further actions on our cost structure including additional job eliminations."
No word so far on which groups are affected by today's cuts. Round one impacted heavily the entertainment and devices team, Microsoft's business-intelligence unit and other content-creation-focused positions inside the company.
Update: Microsoft is not talking about which groups are being cut most deeply in this round, but a spokesperson noted that half of today's announced cuts are of U.S.-based employees and the other half are of Microsoft employees located overseas.
Update No. 2: Reports from Microsoft India (via Mini-Microsoft India) indicate that 1 percent of all Microsoft India employees are being cut. From an alleged internal memo: "I am saddened to share that about one percent of the net rolls across India will be impacted by the realignment. While the impact is across almost all business units, the highest impact is across MSIT and SMSG." (That's Microsoft IT and the Sales, Marketing and Service Group.)