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posted by janrinok on Saturday July 30 2016, @12:02AM   Printer-friendly
from the perhaps-they-should-have-asked-Cortana dept.

The job cuts were revealed in paperwork filed on Thursday with US financial watchdog the SEC. The doomed staff will leave the business by the end of next June. They all work in Microsoft's sales teams and its Windows Phone hardware division. [...] We understand 900 people in the global sales unit have already learned of their fate.

As for the latest redundancies, here's the relevant sections of Microsoft's annual 10-K report to the SEC:

In addition to the elimination of 1,850 positions that were announced in May 2016, approximately 2,850 roles globally will be reduced during the year as an extension of the earlier plan, and these actions are expected to be completed by the end of fiscal year 2017.

As of June 30, 2016, we employed approximately 114,000 people on a full-time basis, 63,000 in the U.S. and 51,000 internationally. Of the total employed people, 38,000 were in operations, including manufacturing, distribution, product support, and consulting services; 37,000 in product research and development; 29,000 in sales and marketing; and 10,000 in general and administration.

While the layoffs affect just 2.5 per cent of Microsoft's workforce, they are very precise and telling cuts: Windows-powered mobiles managed to seize just three per cent of the global smartphone market, and now Redmond is dismantling that failed operation.


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by NCommander on Saturday July 30 2016, @06:26AM

    by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Saturday July 30 2016, @06:26AM (#381895) Homepage Journal

    The problem with Windows CE was it was a palmtop OS shoehorned onto a phone. I owned several CE devices, and for a long time, they were the most powerful and versatile portable devices I had. With CE, I could easily go into the filesystem, and change out system components if I wanted. It was basically Windows 95* with a different UI. In comparison, PalmOS was extremely simplistic and limited, and neither S60 nor Prism had much marketshare in the US. Installing apps generally involved running an installer or copying EXEs like Windows.

    What killed CE was basically the fact that it was never a polished system; it suffered from the "jack of all trades, master of none" problem, and it made a pretty losey phone. Palm's Treo line was basically the same thing, decent PDA, horrible phone. Same was true of BlackBerry. That taint more or less carried onto Windows Phone 7 (which isn't bad, my mom is a fairly dedicated Windows phone user, she's had several, and even a Windows RT tablet).

    What made iOS and Android break out in 2007 was they were legitimately good phones with the ability to do more. Even then, unless you have a rooted Android device, what you can do with said devices feels far more limited than what I was doing in 2000 with a Windows CE device, and embedded Visual C++.

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  • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Saturday July 30 2016, @06:30AM

    by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Saturday July 30 2016, @06:30AM (#381898) Homepage Journal

    The * got deleted by accident. To prevent nitpicking, I'm aware that 95 and CE have no commonalty between the two of them beside a name. NT was very much limited to businesses at the time, so at the high point of Microsoft's mobile domination, the comparsion was basically between CE and 95/98.

    Honestly, I'd love to see a modern replacement for the HP Jornada. I used to use a Palm VIIx with the Palm Keyboard as a mobile work platform, and its hard to find anything that comes close to that. Using Android with a BT keyboard is an extremely sucky experience in comparison.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by pvanhoof on Saturday July 30 2016, @11:13AM

    by pvanhoof (4638) on Saturday July 30 2016, @11:13AM (#381930) Homepage

    Having developed on WinCE I can tell you it's not Win95 with a new UI. It's much more like MS Dos + Win 3.11. For example is CreateFileMapping (that's mmap, on real operating systems) implemented by simply copying the file in memory for each process again. That means that it doesn't do what you expect it do to when using DLL files: every process will trigger the entire DLL to be copied into RAM.

    How I know this? Well. Our application was Qt4 based. The Qt4 DLLs are relatively big. Although the binaries where not statically linked, every process was getting the entire copy of the Qt DLLs in real memory. Actually, every thread was. Not just every process.

    So really, WinCE is not a good OS at all. Unless you want MS Dos with a little bit of UI.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by NCommander on Saturday July 30 2016, @11:32PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Saturday July 30 2016, @11:32PM (#382099) Homepage Journal

      I'm aware CE internally under the hood has little in common. Programming for it wasn't a whole lot of fun either with everything having to use unicode everything, and some of the internal APIs being down right strange (DLL behavior you menthoned is one of them), though it was better than coding for PalmOS's which was much more constrained and painful. I used prc-tools for that, but I never heard anything good said about the official Metroworks environment. I never coded for Symbian, but I've heard people still curse that to this day.

      What I was getting fact was in terms of user experience, CE was the best at a portable computer environment especially once you added a keyboard. Where it fell through was it was a rather miserable phone experience, combined with the fact that cell vendors usually tended to pour on so much crap on low specs as to make it an unresponsive POS.

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