Microsoft job cuts in thousands as focus shifts to cloud and digital transformation

Tech giant Microsoft plans massive layoffs as the company shifts focus from software business to cloud computing and other transformative digital services, according to reports. Whereas several reports predict changes will result in thousands of layoffs, Microsoft confirmed to AFP that the changes were on way.

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

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Satya Nadella has been focusing on reducing the company’s reliance on software and shifting it to cloud computing as well as business services.

“From large multinationals to small and medium businesses to non-profits all over the world, organizations are using Microsoft’s cloud platforms to power their digital transformation,” Nadella said during the reporting of Microsoft’s earnings for the first 3 months of 2017. Microsoft said revenue from its “Intelligent Cloud” rose 11 percent from a year earlier to $6.8 billion.

Microsoft’s cloud platform, Azure, faces stiff competition from other technology giants Google and Amazon. Most tech companies are investing in new-age digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to make services hosted in the cloud more intuitive and user-friendly for handling data.

Washington-based Microsoft has announced thousands of jobs cuts in recent years. The most drastic was when 18,000 positions were made redundant in 2014 after its acquisition of Nokia. The tech giant cut 7800 jobs in 2015 and 4700 in 2016.

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