Thousands of jobs no longer Azure’d as Microsoft refocuses on cloud

4 Jul 2017

Microsoft. Image: Gabriel Petrescu/Shutterstock

In what could be the company’s largest restructure in a long time, Microsoft is shifting its focus as cloud becomes its latest love.

With rumours of thousands of jobs to be cut across the world, Microsoft’s reporting of its fiscal year this month could prove particularly significant.

Emerging stories reveal that the tech giant will restructure its entire sales operation, with a new focus on six core industries: manufacturing, financial services, retail, health, education and government.

Future Human

Above all of this, though, will be a push towards greater adoption of cloud computing, the area proving particularly profitable to Microsoft of late.


Consumer focus

One of the key areas seems to be getting its ‘modern workplace solution’ software into people’s homes, too.

In a company memo seen by GeekWire, Microsoft said it will create a “thriving partner infrastructure” built on Surface, Windows devices, Office 365 and Xbox.

Internet of things solutions will be big, too, with the Satya Nadella-led company not alone in its new focus on “voice, mixed reality and AI”.

Calling the global shifts “some of the most significant” in the company in years, Bloomberg suggests marketing and sales divisions will be impacted hardest.

Rather than selling software to users for their desktop computers, a push to sign up more and more people to Microsoft’s various cloud offerings will be the new order of the day.

So expect to hear more about Azure, Microsoft’s rival offering to the likes of Amazon Web Services and the Google Cloud Platform. A recent study found Microsoft to be ahead of the game already, in this regard.

“Microsoft is implementing changes to better serve our customers and partners,” a company spokesperson said.

Cut, cut, cut

The job cuts have yet to be confirmed, but it won’t be the first time Microsoft has reduced its headcount in recent years.

Following the disastrous purchase of Nokia, Microsoft vowed to cut more than 7,000 people in 2015, with several thousand following suit in 2016.

Microsoft is in the midst of a pretty innovative time, developing its own silicon for the latest Surface Pro devices thanks to clever partnerships and acquisitions.

“This is something that evolved out of what we are doing with HoloLens,” explained Shirley Finnerty, Windows business group lead at Microsoft Ireland, at the time.

Microsoft set up shop in Ireland in 1985, with a small manufacturing facility employing more than 100 people. Since then, it has added several more operations in the country, claiming to employ 1,200 full-time staff and 700 full-time contract staff.

Microsoft. Image: Gabriel Petrescu/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic