Monitoring MSFT: More Layoffs, Free Tech Support, Windows 9 Preview

Microsoft news was overshadowed by Apple's iPhone 6 announcement last week. So it was a good time for MSFT to talk about new layoffs. Plus, news on the company's free tech support offer at Microsoft Store and Windows 9 gets slated for a technical preview. That and more in this week's Monitoring MSFT.

Jessica Davis

September 22, 2014

3 Min Read
Monitoring MSFT: More Layoffs, Free Tech Support, Windows 9 Preview

In a week when news from Apple (AAPL) about its iPhone 6 iWatch and other developments dominated the technology news, is it any surprise that some companies may slip in news of layoffs so they may get less attention? I’m not saying that’s why Microsoft (MSFT) announced more layoffs last week, but we’ve got the story plus more news on a light week for coverage of MSFT. No Minecraft news this week.

First the layoffs. The company announced that another 2,100 workers worldwide would lose their jobs, including many in the Trustworthy Computing Group, a segment of the company created by Bill Gates and partially responsible for the company’s Patch Tuesday efforts. The layoff news follows a much bigger workforce cut in July when 13,000 were removed from the payroll. Microsoft has said the overall workforce cut will include 18,000 people.

How big are the layoffs?

The VAR Guy noted that the firings have been the largest in the company’s 39-year history, and have gone far deeper than what most observers expected and nearly three times the company’s previous highwater mark for layoffs of 5,800 in 2009 at the global recession’s beginning. Microsoft said it will incur a $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion charge over the next year for severance pay and other costs associated with the layoffs.

Microsoft Store offers free tech support

Meanwhile, Microsoft may be providing some competition for break/fix work. Lifehacker is reporting that the company is offering a free PC tune-up and tech support for individuals who visit Microsoft stores.  “If you’re running Windows and run into a problem, don’t take it to a store that charges for repairs. You can get tech support, diagnostics, virus removal, and tune-ups for free at any Microsoft Store,” the site says in a recent report. Lifehacker points out that such services cost $200 from Best Buy’s Geek Squad. According to Lifehacker, the free in-store services cover any software-related issues. Other services cost $49 including hardware upgrades or installation, app installation, data backup migration, Windows 8.1 upgrades or installations, and OneDrive setup.

All these services are available whether or not the user purchased the computer from the Microsoft Store. If there are no Microsoft Stores near you, you can get remote tech support services from Microsoft, but they start at $99, Microsoft said. So there’s a little competitive intelligence for you on remote tech support services.

Windows 9 technical preview coming

In other news, Microsoft is prepping for a Sept. 30 press event in San Francisco when the company is expected to preview its newest operating system, Windows 9.

The Verge reports that Microsoft OS boss Terry Myerson and Joe Belfiore, who runs the Windows Phone design team, will present at the Sept. 30 event and talk about the future of Windows, with an  emphasis on enterprise and power users.

The preview is expected to offer developers an early look at new features and changes to the operating system, which is expected to feature virtual desktop capabilities.

Did we miss something important to you? Please let us know in the comments section.



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About the Author(s)

Jessica Davis

Jessica Davis is the former Content Director for MSPmentor. She spent her career covering the intersection of business and technology.  She's also served as Editor in Chief at Channel Insider and held senior editorial roles at InfoWorld and Electronic News.

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