Microsoft laid off 1,400 workers on Friday, en route to as many as 5,000 – the first layoffs ever at the company.
Less than two years ago, Microsoft couldn’t find enough qualified software engineers in the United States that they were begging for H1-B Visas to import them. They also opened up a development center in Richmond BC, just outside of Vancouver (and only two hours drive from Redmond, WA) to take advantage of more skilled-immigrant-friendly Canadian government policies.
What’s going on? Anyone know? Have thoughts?
Is Microsoft really struggling enough to shed talent so fiercely fought for?
Is America now over-supplied with software developer talent?
Or is Microsoft taking advantage of a crisis to shed unproductive workers or corporate divisions?
Steve Ballmer does mention that Microsoft expects to hire 2,000 – 3,000 people over the next year or so (suggesting things are not that bad).