Some few months prior to the launch of its new operating system, Microsoft confirmed on Thursday that it has implemented re-adjustments intended to fine tune the core function of the tech giant's marketing and advertising divisions.
The move leads to the separation of unspecified number of employees, which the company said was being rolled out to focus on its priorities, presumably centred on the upcoming Windows 8, which the software maker touted as its most important product launch in more than a decade.
"I can confirm that there were job eliminations today at Microsoft," Agence France Presse (AFP) reported Microsoft as saying in a statement.
The same statement gave notice that the American firm was merely in the process of realignments and the transitions were but indicators of Microsoft's evolving business priorities.
The announcement came as the giant company earlier flagged 'goodwill impairment' of $US6.2 billion on its internet division, which Microsoft said will be carried on its upcoming earnings report.
The huge writedown was on top of the estimated $US10 billion sales and marketing costs that the company had reported in the past nine months ending in March this year.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the accounting charge was Microsoft's way of disclosing to the public that its internet businesses have been losing money, a condition that afflicts too key internet players such as former search giant Yahoo and online aggregator Digg.
The latter, said The WSJ in a separate story, was sold yesterday for a measly $500,000, effectively writing off one of the initial web figures that sparked the social media phenomenon in mid-2000s.
But unlike Digg, the multi-faceted business of Microsoft indeed allows the company to reconfigure its business approach, which basing on its latest pronouncement will be anchored on the recently acquired Skype, a refurbished gaming console and its overhauled operating system.
"We're thinking about the exciting new opportunities that Windows 8, Xbox and Skype present for our advertising and marketing partners," the company said.
Analysts said Microsoft is actually 'engineering the opportunities' for its products, likely releasing a new Xbox package while its competitors Sony and Nintendo opted to simply issue significant upgrades on their products, though the latter will debut the Wii U later this year.
Yet the most compelling thrust of Microsoft this year is the entry of Windows 8, which the company will deploy on traditional PCs, tablet computers and smartphones in order to catch up with what Apple and Google had both achieved in the past few years.
The new platform will compete with gadgets powered by the iOS and Android, between them had already collected millions in sales, but Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer is unfazed.
In a few years, Mr Ballmer declared, Windows 8 or devices that are powered by the fresh platform will dominate the lives of least half-a-billion users across the globe.
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