Microsoft lays off around 1500 in Azure cloud unit and mixed reality (MR) division

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Key notes

  • Microsoft laying off hundreds in Azure cloud and mixed reality divisions.
  • Up to 1,500 jobs potentially cut in Azure for Operators and Mission Engineering.
  • Layoffs part of a larger trend in the tech industry, following Microsoft’s 2023 cuts.

Microsoft is reportedly laying off hundreds of employees across its Azure cloud unit and mixed reality business, according to sources.

The layoffs are said to impact teams including Azure for Operators and Mission Engineering, with estimates suggesting as many as 1,500 job cuts in that division itself.

This comes after a trend of tech companies looking to cut costs, with Microsoft itself having laid off 10,000 employees earlier in 2023.

The affected Azure teams were part of Microsoft’s Strategic Missions and Technologies (SMT) organization, which worked on the company’s “moonshot” projects like quantum computing and space initiatives.

The layoffs come despite recent progress in Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI, and the fact that it is the world’s most valuable company ever since January this year.

These cuts comes after Microsoft’s typical practice of workforce adjustments around the end of their fiscal year in June. However, the current round comes on top of the significant layoffs in 2023 and reflects a broader trend within the tech industry.

Microsoft hasn’t officially commented on the layoffs, but a separate report says that the mixed reality department working on the HoloLens 2 project has also been impacted.

This news follows CEO Satya Nadella’s previous announcement of changes to the company’s hardware portfolio, which included the closure of the Activision-Blizzard acquisition and a recent push for “AI PCs” with new Surface devices, as reported by Business Insider.

Despite the layoffs, Microsoft has assured continued commitment to the Department of Defense’s IVAS program and sales of HoloLens 2.

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