the trending ones


October 2015

Microsoft Lays Off 1,000 More Employees


Microsoft’s struggle to cut costs continues despite the thousands of jobs impacted by its global reorganization, and a new report published today claims the company has just fired 1,000 more people.

The news might come as a big surprise for many, given the fact that Microsoft was believed to have already completed its cost-cutting efforts concerning the workforce, but The New York Times writes that two people close to the matter have confirmed the layoffs.

It turns out that the new job cut is just a continuation of the original plan that came into effect after Microsoft completed the acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services unit. At that time, CEO Satya Nadella revealed that 18,000 people would be affected by the job cuts, most of them former workers of Nokia, but several company divisions have also been impacted.

A company representative has confirmed for the aforementioned source that some job cuts have indeed been made and revealed that they impact more than just a single division.

“The job reductions were spread across more than one business area and country and reflect adaptations to business needs,” he is quoted as saying.

Dropping revenues

Microsoft’s intention to cut costs comes as no big surprise, as the company’s revenues dropped during the first quarter of FY 2016 and its biggest divisions all reported smaller figures as compared to the same period the year before.

For example, the phone revenues dropped 54 percent, while Windows and Surface also dropped by several percentage points. This is mostly due to the fact that no new devices have been launched in the last 12 months, which has had a big impact on its revenues.

But all of these are expected to change in the coming months, as Microsoft is not only cutting jobs but is also working to overhaul its product lineup with new phones and tablets. The next quarter is expected to bring a much stronger performance.

Google ad boss: ad blockers are ‘a blunt instrument and we need to be worried’

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Google ads boss Sridhar Ramaswamy thinks the ad industry needs to hurry up and do something about bad ads and ad blockers.

Ad blocking software, which automatically nixes display advertising from websites, became a hot topic after an Apple operating system update allowed ad blocking on iPhones and iPads for the first time.

Although Ramaswamy made it clear that mobile advertising is still doing “incredibly well for Google and everybody else” while on stage at The Wall Street Journal’s WSJD Live conference, he does see the growing popularity of the software as a cause for concern.

“Clearly [ad blockers] affect big companies. But the diversity of opinion that we get from the different blogs, from the small newspapers is that they all suffer when someone installs an ad blocker,” he said. “In my mind, it’s a very blunt instrument. And that’s why we need to be worried.”

People install ad blockers after they’ve had a poor experience, where a mobile web page is completely covered up by an ad, or they’re unable to find the “X” in the corner, Ramaswamy says. Bad ads threaten to bring chaos for the whole industry.

“There needs to be more of a sustainable ad standard that we voluntarily define, and things in that standard should not get blocked,” he said. “I think this is essential to us all for survival.”

He said that Google has been in touch with the Internet Advertising Bureau, browser companies, and other industry execs. Meanwhile, AdBlock Plus has been working on getting together a board of people in the ad industry to create a criteria for which ads should be labeled as “acceptable.” Acceptable ads would not get blocked.

Ramaswamy said they’re looking to declare the standards quickly: “hopefully months.”

On Google’s Q3 earnings call later the same week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai echoed the same sentiment when asked about ad blocking. He too said that the key was making sure that the ad experience improves.

“It’s clear that that are areas where the ad experience is getting in the way, it affects performance, and so we as industry need to collectively do all that better,” he said. “And so we are going to work hard to do that.”

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