Here's a round-up of Microsoft labor-related (and other) news on the eve of the long Labor Day weekend here in the U.S.
Microsoft is confirming it is cutting 27 more employees in Redmond and Bellevue, Wash. offices, effective November 1. No word on which teams/products those 27 are part of. Microsoft officials said at the start of this year the company planned to lay off approximately 5,000 employees between then and mid-2010. When Microsoft cut its second big round of employees in May, CEO Steve Ballmer's stated that "with this announcement, we are mostly but not all done with the planned 5,000 job eliminations by June 2010." Microsoft officials won't say how many of these 5,000 have been cut to date; I'd think the new 27 are part of the original 5,000 and not the start of an additional round.
Kai-Fu Lee is resigning from Google. Lee is the former head of Microsoft's Interactive Services Division and most recently President of Google China. Lee is said to be planning to disclose what he'll be doing next on Sunday. From a story on PE Hub, it sounds like it is somehow venture-related. Microsoft sued Google over its hiring of Lee in 2005.
A Federal Court of Appeals is allowing Microsoft to continue to sell Microsoft Word, in spite of a patent-infringement case against it. Microsoft is appealing a ruling, which found the company to have infringed on a patent involving Custom XML code owned by plaintiff i4i. The appeal is set for September 23. I've heard Microsoft has an patch that would remove Custom XML from Word waiting in the wings and ready to be pushed to customers immediately if it loses the appeal.
Windows Mobile 7 in beta? UXEvangelist (a k a Stephen Chapman) discovered a Motorola exec's bio on LinkedIn that mentions the existence of a Windows Mobile 7 beta. Both Chapman and I had heard that Microsoft was quite far along in its Windows Mobile 7 development and was aiming to get final code to phone makers in November this year. But there may have been a recent change in plans, via which Microsoft may deliver yet another interim release of Windows Mobile (something after 6.5) before Windows Mobile 7 shows up on new phones. If the latest rumors are true, Windows Mobile 7 is unlikely to debut before the end of 2010. Microsoft won't discuss ship targets or plans for Windows Mobile 7.
Novell's Miguel de Icaza is at it again. His latest project is Mono Tools for Visual Studio, which is now in a closed Beta 1 release. "There are some common stumbling blocks that keep .NET applications from being able to run on Mono. These can be due to using parts of the .NET framework that Mono does not implement or implements differently, or reliance on native platform code like user32," according to the new site for the tools. The tools allow developers to scan their apps for Mono compatibility, test them on Windows and Linux and package them up to run on Linux.