FY09Q2: last time I speculated that the growing global economic crisis was going to be on the mind of the analysts. This time? Rumor resolution. God almighty, are you there? It's me Mini... along with all of Microsoft and every region in the world that benefits from Microsoft's employees. Please put this rumor about cutbacks to rest once and for all.
Because, you know, when you have a couple of check-ups during the week and all the staff wants to do is dish on all the Microsoft layoff news and news they have heard from other Microsofties, things have just gone too far.
What kind of interesting topics do you imagine might be covered during the day on this Thursday? Some items on my list include:
- Cost-efficiencies: what does Microsoft plan to do with respect to cost efficiencies within the current economic climate? Personally, I think they'll be veiled references to our continuous review system to ensure we move on the bottom 10% and that will have to serve as a wink-wink-nudge-nudge to Wall Street. I also hope that we point out we're able to great deals on some of our previous plans and expect to save money as part of our competitive infrastructure build-out.
- EU: (I can dream - it seems that the analysts never bring the EU up) Looks like the Ghost of Christmas Past has decided to pop up and start harassing the reformed Ebenezer Scrooge. What? The? Hell? Yes, Microsoft screwed up big-time by making the boned headed pronouncement that the web browser was an essential part of the operating system (smack to the forehead). Now Microsoft is getting their butt handed to them by Firefox and other browsers. So what, EU, you're saying: "Excuse me, might I kick that butt before you hand-it over to them?" The investigation is a dark cloud over the European market, has potential to randomize the Win7 release, will result in another billion-esque $USD fine, and I hope will give the US Administration a good reason to rattle the cage with-respect-to trade with Europe to stop this kind of shake-down.
- Win7 + Office 14 Release: I imagine that there will be some probing over the final release of the next gen cash cows. And we'll say they are on track.
(Putting this up early for anyone to share what details they want to hear. Moderation-wise: sorry, no more rumors or FUD or misspelled Liddell comments. If it seems fishy, I'll CRF it for now. If you're right, well, I'll bring it back into a post and vindicate you.
More details post quarterly results, along with any interesting postings...)
Town Hall Friday: lots of rumors flying around, quarterly results Thursday, and then a Town Hall Friday morning. Let's hope that all spells resolution to the fear, uncertainty, and doubt stirred up to a crescendo as of late. The good-ending scenario is that Steve Ballmer gets out there and finally rips the rumors to shreds and proclaims that Microsoft is a one-of-a-kind juggernaut of a company that is going to be in the position to take advantage of the downturn to re-invest and surge past its competition while they are mired in the mud of the recession.
The not-so-good-ending scenario is that there's some kind of tough-love re-org truth to all the rumors as the leadership balances out and we get to hear how everything is expected to shake out.
Whatever happens, I expect that we'll see continued decline in contractors, headcount flat for the rest of the year, and a vigorous push to either get rid of the bottom 10% or get them back on track into the 70% bucket. Which probably ends up meaning a 5% reduction, in the long run.
(What do you want to hear during the Town Hall? Detail free follow-up impressions after Friday's Town Hall...)