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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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January 22, 2009 8:14 PM

Confusion for Microsoft employees who weren't laid off today

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Some Microsoft employees complained that the company did a poor job of sending the all-clear signal to those who weren't affected by today's layoffs. After a companywide e-mail from CEO Steve Ballmer went out this morning at 6:07 informing employees of the job cuts -- 1,400 of which took place today -- other executives followed up with e-mails telling their reports whether cuts would take place in their organization.

Some people heard that, yes, there would be cuts -- but that was all they heard. "There was no communication that I still have a job," said one person, who later learned that those who were let go Thursday were notified directly. By the afternoon, if you were still there, you were fine, this person said, but that didn't stop a day of jokes about whether badges used to open doors on campus were still working.

Others complained about the huge window of insecurity hanging over Microsoft employees heads. The company plans to shed up to 3,600 additional positions in the next 18 months. Several people expressed that they wish the company had done it all at once, to get it over with.

One executive e-mail acknowledged this continuing uncertainty.

"I know you'll also have questions about the announcement that the company will eliminate further positions over the next 18 months," the executive wrote. "While no specific decisions have been made about the areas where we will make these additional changes, those areas that represent opportunity for cost savings by reducing duplicate investment will be examined closely."

Microsoft is holding a town hall-style meeting with employees Friday morning at 9 a.m.

Here's more coverage of Microsoft's layoffs.

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