Friday, July 18, 2014

Microsoft to cut 18,000 jobs

Microsoft to cut 18,000 jobs

Microsoft will cut approximately 18,000 jobs within the next eleven months, CEO Satya Nadella wrote in an announcement to staff.

This round of layoffs will be the largest in the company's history and the largest since former CEO Steve Ballmer cut 5,800 employees in 2009.

Roughly 12,500 employees brought on as a result of the Nokia acquisition, which occurred in April, will be let go. The deal added 25,000 employees to Microsoft's payroll. At the time of the acquisition, Microsoft said it would cut $600 million (about £350.8 million, AU$640 million) per year in costs.

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The company-wide changes will dramatically affect Nokia products. In his July 17 memo announcing the cutbacks, Nadella said he is focused on integrating Nokia into the Microsoft business. As a result, select future Nokia X devices will be migrated from Android to the Windows Phone operating system.

This tactic allows Microsoft to continue to compete in the budget smartphone market and ensures that budget smartphones users are running on Microsoft's platform of choice.

Big changes to the enterprise

Nadella is also expected to make changes to the engineering organization, which will likely consolidate the roles of software testers and developers, as cloud building has made it easier for developers to test and fix issues autonomously.

Microsoft has more than 127,000 employees globally. The majority of employees who will be let go are expected to hear from Microsoft within the next six months, Nadella said in his memo.

As a result of the layoffs, Microsoft will have to pay $1.1 billion (about £640 million, AU$1.17 billion) to $1.6 billion (about £940 million, AU$1.71 billion) in severance and related benefits costs and related charges over the next four quarters.

Rumors of the impending layoffs began circulating earlier this week, shortly after Nadella outlined Microsoft's trajectory in an email to staff.

In the email, Nadella said he is focused on driving Internet of Things, mobility and cloud innovation.

  • What does TechRadar think of the Nokia X?

TechRadar Phone Awards shortlist announced

TechRadar Phone Awards shortlist announced

We're just hours away from the first TechRadar Phone Awards, where a host of winners will be crowned on July 17 at an exclusive event in London, and to get you ready for the glitz and glamour we've announced the shortlist for the six categories.

Tonight we'll be celebrating the best budget phone, best budget tablet, best app, best innovation and of course the two big prizes: the best tablet and the best phone of the past 12 months.

Our expert panel of judges deliberated extensively on all six categories, narrowing contenders down to a series of shortlists and then performing the tricky business of actually deciding the winners.

The good news is that - after much discussion, tears, laughter and hard graft - we have picked our winners and all will be revealed on July 17.

Best phone

It's the award they all want to win - the prestigious TechRadar Best Phone Award. This award highlights the pinnacle of smartphone achievement from design and innovation to performance and usability.

Over the past 12 months we've seen manufacturers push the boundaries of our smartphones once again, producing some stunning devices and any one in our shortlist is a worthy winner.

  • HTC One M8
  • iPhone 5S
  • LG G3
  • OnePlus One
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
  • Sony Xperia Z2

Best tablet

Tablets huh. Just a few years ago tablet computers were nothing more than an extravagant slice of seriously geeky tech, but now they fill every home, boardroom and backpack from here to Hong Kong and back.

There are some many to choose from in terms of prize, screen size, operating system, brand and build - but there are a few which rise above the rest as truly standout slates and it's these select few which are honoured here.

  • Amazon Kindle Fire HDX
  • Google Nexus 7 (2013)
  • iPad Air
  • iPad Mini 2
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1
  • Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

Best budget phone

While flagships handsets may be grabbing the headlines, there's an enormous amount happening at the opposite end of the scale with some truly outstanding smartphones available for under £200.

They are great for first time users, those migrating from feature to smartphone, parents looking for an affordable handset for their kids or those who want something cheap to take to a festival or on holiday.

Best budget tablet

Tablets are brilliant and we love them, but not everyone can afford the latest and greatest. Thankfully those on a tighter tablet budget are now spoilt for choice with high quality options available for under £200.

Whether it's a slate for the family, the kids, university or personal web browsing media consumption, a low cost tablet is just the ticket and they're taking the market by storm.

  • Amazon Kindle Fire HDX
  • PGEgaHJlZj0iaHR0cDovL2hvc3RpbmdraXRhLmNvbQ0iIHRhcmdldD0iX2JsYW5rIiByZWw9Im5vZm9sbG93Ij5Bc3VzIDwvYT4=Memo Pad HD 7
  • PGEgaHJlZj0iaHR0cDovL2hvc3RpbmdraXRhLmNvbQ0iIHRhcmdldD0iX2JsYW5rIiByZWw9Im5vZm9sbG93Ij5Hb29nbGUgPC9hPk5leHVzIDcgKDIwMTMpPC9saT48bGk+TEcgRyBQYWQgOC4zPC9saT48bGk+U2Ftc3VuZyBHYWxheHkgVGFiIDMgOC4wPC9saT48bGk+VGVzY28gSHVkbDwvbGk+PC91bD48aDM+QmVzdCBhcHA8L2gzPjxwPkFwcGxpY2F0aW9ucywgdG8gZ2l2ZSB0aGVtIHRoZWlyIGZ1bGwgdGl0bGUsIGhhdmUgYmVjb21lIGVuZ3JhaW5lZCBpbiBvdXIgZGFpbHkgbGl2ZXMgLSB0aGV5J3JlIHNvIGltcG9ydGFudCBpbiBmYWN0IHdlJ3JlIG5vdCBzdXJlIHdlJ2QgYmUgYWJsZSB0byBmdW5jdGlvbiBwcm9wZXJseSB3aXRob3V0IHRoZW0gYW55bW9yZS4gPC9wPjxwPldpdGggc28gbWFueSBhcHBzIG5vdyBhdmFpbGFibGUgaXQgd2FzIGEgcmVhbCBjaGFsbGVuZ2Ugd2lubm93aW5nIGRvd24gdG8gb3VyIHNob3J0bGlzdCwgYW5kIHRoZXJlJ3MgcHJvYmFibHkgc29tZSBmYXZvdXJpdGVzIHRoYXQgaGF2ZW4ndCBtYWRlIHRoZSBjdXQuPC9wPjx1bD48bGk+PGEgaHJlZj0iaHR0cDovL2hvc3RpbmdraXRhLmNvbQ0iIHRhcmdldD0iX2JsYW5rIiByZWw9Im5vZm9sbG93Ij5Hb29nbGUgPC9hPg==Maps
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
  • Real Racing 3
  • Sky Go/Sky+
  • Spotify
  • Swiftkey
  • Uber

Best innovation

Best innovation is where we looked at the best the industry created, celebrating the achievements that make our phones, tablets and mobile life amazing.

  • Android Wear by Google
  • Boomsound by HTC
  • Chromecast by Google
  • Pureview by Nokia
  • Snapdragon 801 by Qualcomm
  • Touch ID by Apple