The tech group joined a list of US peers making extensive job cuts, including Facebook owner Meta, Amazon, and business software-maker Salesforce, who have scaled back on workforce expansions stoked by a pandemic-related boom in demand for their services and products that have lost momentum.
Microsoft’s chief executive, Satya Nadella, said in a blogpost that customers had increased their digital spend when coronavirus hit in 2020-21 but were now scaling back.
“We’re now seeing them optimise their digital spend to do more with less,” he said.
Nadella added that organisations in every industry and region worldwide were showing caution “as some parts of the world are in a recession and other parts are anticipating one”.
Nadella also pointed to artificial intelligence creating the “next major wave of computing” as an example of the ”significant change” the company is facing. Microsoft is an investor in OpenAI, the company behind the ChatGPT chatbot.
“We will align our cost structure with our revenue and where we see customer demand. Today, we are making changes that will result in the reduction of our overall workforce by 10,000 jobs.”
Microsoft employs about 220,000 people worldwide, with the cuts representing less than 5% of its total workforce.
The layoffs, to be carried out by the end of March, will result in a charge of $1.2bn (£1bn) in the second quarter of its fiscal year, Microsoft said.
It follows some reductions last year. Microsoft said last July that a small number of roles had been eliminated, and in October the news site Axios reported that the company had laid off fewer than 1,000 employees across several divisions.
Microsoft is grappling with a slump in the personal computer market after a pandemic boom fizzled out, leaving less demand for its Windows and accompanying software. Slowing demand has also hit Microsoft’s cloud computing unit, which is now the largest past of its business.
The company also owns the Xbox gaming platform and is attempting to buy the video game maker Activision Blizzard, whose titles include Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, in a $68.7bn deal. However, the US Federal Trade Commission has moved to block the transaction on competition grounds.
One analyst said Microsoft and other US tech companies were fighting a “category five near-term economic storm”.
Dan Ives, analyst at US financial services firm Wedbush Securities, said: “We are seeing the clock strike midnight for the tech sector after a decade of hyper growth and now major layoffs are being seen at [Microsoft], Salesforce, Meta, Amazon, among many others across [Silicon] Valley. This is a rip the Band-Aid off moment to preserve margins and cut costs.”
Overzealous hiring during the pandemic has become a feature of many tech firms’ job-cutting announcements in recent months. Amazon’s workforce had doubled to 1.5 million since March 2020 and this month the company said it would cut 18,000 of those roles.
The online retailer’s chief executive, Andrew Jassy, referred to “the uncertain economy” when announcing the cuts, but added that Amazon had “hired rapidly over the last several years”.
Amazon began implementing the mass job cuts on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg, with workers in the US, Canada and Costa Rica being contacted via email. Bloomberg added that affected workers in China would be contacted after the Lunar New Year, while in other regions the company will need to hold consultations with employee representatives before starting lay-offs.
Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, Meta, announced 11,000 redundancies in November after admitting that an increase in online activity during the pandemic “did not play out the way I expected”.
Salesforce’s chief executive, Marc Benioff, said this month as he announced about 8,000 job cuts that “we hired too many people leading into this economic downturn we’re now facing”.
Joshua White, assistant professor of finance at Vanderbilt University, said company filings showed the firm had increased its workforce by about 50% from pre-pandemic levels.
“Such rapid expansion was based on the competition for attracting tech talent that drives the value at companies like Microsoft, [Google owner] Alphabet and Meta,” he said.
“All these tech companies rapidly expanded their workforce during the past two years in anticipation that the pandemic-period growth, which was partially fuelled by government stimulus, would continue.”
‘Britain’s shortest house’ standing at just 6ft 5ins tall has gone on sale – for the relatively small price of £70,000.
The unique property, with ceilings that may skim the tops of some heads, is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth, Devon.
As its name implies, Ye Olde Toll House is a former toll house, which is believed to date back to 1758.
Its yellow exterior is topped off with a thatched roof, covering walls which stand no higher than an average front door.
Despite its miniature size the interior houses an entrance porch, living room, small kitchen, a shower room and one bedroom.
The unique property, with ceilings that may skim the tops of some heads, is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth, Devon
The unique 6ft 5ins property, that may skim the tops of some heads, is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth, Devon
On the listing, Clive Emson Land and Property Auctioneers described the property as: ‘A charming detached thatched Toll House for updating’
There’s also an outdoor space with a log store area and attic space for extra storage.
On the listing, Clive Emson Land and Property Auctioneers described the property as: ‘A charming detached thatched Toll House for updating.
‘This unique single storey property is believed to date back to 1758 and is situated in the popular East Devon village of Newton Poppleford, which is only four miles from the popular seaside town of Sidmouth.
‘The property is likely to be of interest to a home owner or those looking for a lock-up and leave bolt hole. It could also be of interest to investment purchasers.’
A Grade II listed cottage on sale for £450,000 has been mocked for having a toilet in the middle of one of the bedrooms.
The detached historic home in Colne, near Burnley, Lancashire, boasts a wealth of original features including mullion windows, inglenook stone fireplace and stone stills.
But home hunters have been scratching their heads at the design choice of a loo and sink in what appears to be a child’s bedroom.
The toilet has also been adorned with a large sticker featuring Marvel Comic character, Hulk, matching a small novelty Marvel laundry bin to its side.
Bemused Marie Gardiner said: ‘My friend sent me this from Rightmove and it’s freaking me out.
The toilet has also been adorned with a large sticker featuring Marvel Comic character, Hulk, matching a small novelty Marvel laundry bin to its side
‘Somehow the layout is wrong in every room. Kid’s bedroom is also a toilet.’
Lydia Jane said: ‘That’s an OCD nightmare. Who builds a shower cubicle in front of a bedroom window?’
Marie added: ‘I thought it was maybe a stand up tanning thing?!
To which Lydia replied: ‘Might be, but still.’
It is listed in the property description which reads: ‘One of the bedrooms is separate to the others which is accessed via the spiral staircase and has a WC and wash basin.’
The quaint home features a large modern, living room diner and kitchen with a range oven and has a homely feel.
Three of the bedrooms are located in the main building with the fourth in an annex.
Other interesting features include what appears to be a stand up tanning booth in one of the other bedrooms, and wooden animals in the garden.
Other interesting features include what appears to be a stand up tanning booth in one of the other bedrooms
The key features include it being in a ‘sought after location,’ having a ‘fully fitted modern kitchen,’ ‘three bedrooms’ and ‘large private gardens.’
It is on the market with Petty Real Estate Agents and being advertised on Rightmove.
The property listing reads: ‘Beautiful three bedroom semi detached Grade II Listed cottage situated in a highly sought after semi rural location near to the amenities offered by Colne town centre.
‘This historic building which formed part of the old Carry Bridge Hall has a wealth of original features throughout such as, mullion windows, inglenook stone fireplace and stone stills.
‘The property comprises an entrance hallway with storage cupboard, spacious lounge diner with original stone flagged floor, inglenook stone fireplace with multifuel stove, spiral staircase and patio doors leading to the garden.
‘Fully fitted kitchen which houses a range of modern matching wall, base and drawer units, contrasting granite work surfaces, range oven, dishwasher and stairs leading to the first floor.
‘To the first floor is a landing there are three double bedrooms.
The ‘beautiful three bedroom semi detached Grade II Listed cottage’ has three of the bedrooms located in the main building with the fourth in an annex
Th property listing boasts of a ‘spacious lounge diner with original stone flagged floor, inglenook stone fireplace’ and a spiral staircase
The quaint home features a large modern, living room diner with a prial staircase which can be used to access some of the bedrooms
The three piece family bathroom has a ‘contemporary suite which includes a bath with shower over, low level WC and wash basin and is fully tiled throughout’
Petty Real Estate Agents, with whom the property is up on the market, described how the property’s kitchen ‘has a homely feel’
Original features in this historic home near Burnley, Lancashire include mullion windows
The four-bedroom home in the ‘sought after location’ has patio doors leading to the garden
The ‘fully fitted kitchen’ features a ‘modern matching wall, base and drawer units, contrasting granite work surfaces, range oven, dishwasher and stairs leading to the first floor’
There is a large private garden area to the rear which is ‘mainly laid to the lawn’
‘One of the bedrooms is separate two the others which is accessed via the spiral staircase and has a WC and wash basin.
‘Three piece family bathroom has a contemporary suite which includes a bath with shower over, low level WC and wash basin and is fully tiled throughout.
‘Detached annex with lounge & fully fitted kitchen, three piece shower room and double bedroom.
‘Externally there is a driveway leading to a courtyard where there is parking for several vehicles and a detached garage which has power and lighting.
‘The owners have created a woodland activity area which is perfect for your young children. There is a large private garden area to the rear which is mainly laid to the lawn.’
A ‘time capsule’ country house left untouched for decades has gone on the market for £1.65m with 25 acres of overgrown grounds included.
Burnells Estate on Exmoor National Park is nearly a century old but has not been lived in for at least 20 years as the current owner, who lives abroad, bought it to use as a retirement home and never got round to it.
Estate agents Webbers have cleared the terrace around the outdoor swimming pool to show buyers the potential it has.
The house also has hunting rights over a neighbouring 81 acres of woodland and stunning countryside views of surrounding Exmoor.
Burnells estate was first built in 1927 for Lord Christopher Thomson, a British Army officer and later Labour minister and peer.
The overgrown Burnells Estate on Exmoor National Park is on sale for a cool £1.65m
The house was first built in the 1927s for Lord Christopher Thomson, a British Army officer and later Labour minister and peer
The house has been left to decay for 20 years and is now overgrown and in need of renovation
He served in the Second Boer War and the First World War before going into politics.
Thomson was Secretary of State for Air under Ramsey MacDonald, who made him Baron Thomson in 1924.
He died in the R101 airship crash on its maiden flight from Britain to France in 1930.
The accident was partly down to Lord Thomson putting pressure on to make the maiden flight before safety checks were complete and adequate flight testing had been done.
It led to the deaths of 48 people and the cancellation of the British airship programme by Thomson’s successor.
The house has an incredible private setting in the countryside, down a country lane between the villages of Dunster and Wootton Courtenay in Somerset.
The house has over 4,000 sq ft of living space with a large entrance hall, kitchen, breakfast room, dining room and a large L-shaped sitting room on the ground floor and eight bedrooms and three bathrooms on the first floor.
It has plenty of original features including exposed ceiling beams, ornate plasterwork and original fireplaces.
The kitchen has an oil-fired Aga and adjoining butler’s pantry with original full-height crockery and storage cupboards.
There is also a large garage with a studio above.
The kitchen is spacious, airy and comes equipped with an AGA for clean country living
The inside of the house could use some work but has enough period features to fall in love with
The entertainment room has a large authentic log fire – perfect for winter nights
Outside the property has a number of slate terraces that would have originally made up the formal gardens and there is a sunken swimming pool from the house’s heyday.
The grounds include mixed woodland, heathland and paddocks.
Mark Curran, from Webbers, said: ‘The house has not been occupied for at least 20 years and is a time capsule from the era of art deco.
‘The woodland and foliage has grown up around the property and offers people the possibility of a virtual blank canvas for their own preference and ideas.
‘The interior of the house could be remodelled to suit more modern tastes or enlarged.’
The property, which is in a national park, has nearly 25 acres of grounds
The house has hunting rights over a neighbouring 81 acres of woodland and stunning countryside views of Exmoor National Park
The owner Robert Berg said: ‘I was over in the UK for business and staying in a hotel that I really disliked, so I asked my accountant to help me find a home for when I was here.
‘I purchased the property back in 1979 and lived there permanently until 1983. I’ve used it as my holiday home ever since, until personal circumstances changed for me in recent years.
‘Unfortunately, I have not been back as often as I would have liked, so I think the time is right for me to move on and let new owners breathe life back into it. It is in need of renovation but I know it will make a truly unique home.
‘This is not a normal house; it must have been a very expensive project when it was built and it was constructed in the most perfect manner set over five slate terraces.
‘There is a swimming pool on the second terrace that is a wonderful luxury. Surrounded by woodland and beautiful trees, it offers a most welcome escape from the stresses of day-to-day life.
‘Views from the house are far reaching over scenic countryside that changes with the passing seasons.
‘Access to the property is via a private road which is about 500m long and not many people know that it’s here unless they are coming to visit.
‘I have loved my time living here, it’s been a really wonderful house, and I wish the new owners all the very best.’