Rumour On Microsoft Layoff Spreading

An unconfirmed rumour is currently spreading wide that software giant, Microsoft is poised for a round of significant layoff, involving some 15,000 workers, or 17% of the company’s total workforce.

2 well known blogs, Fudzilla and Mini-Microsoft started covering stories of a possible massive layoff by Microsoft in December, and both are confident that what they are telling their readers are nothing but the blatant truth.

It wasn’t clearly indicated if the workers affected are full time employees, or those who are employed on contract, or through third party contractors.

In the meantime, the CNBC news took a moderate approach by saying that some restructuring is possible, but major layoff is probably unlikely. The restructuring will be aligned towards cutting the company’s operational costs and implemented through non renewal of contract workers, whose contracts are lapsed. Attrition will also be part of the game where positions which are made vacant would not be filled.

Microsoft, which prides itself with its best selling products – Windows operating system, is headquartered in Redmond, Washington, and currently employs more than 80,000 workers worldwide. However, the company is losing its popularity with its latest Windows, Vista, considered as one of the worst operating systems for the year 2008 by pundits. Its once popular browser, Internet Explorer is also now facing intense competition from rivals, Mozilla’s Firefox, Apple’s Safari and the latest, Google’s Chrome.

Microsoft Malaysia Launches BizSpark

Microsoft Malaysia has recently launched BizSpark, a program introduced to help new start-up software companies and technopreneurs to establish their presence and make a jump start in marketing their business.

As new startups begin to attain success, the Malaysia job market will be enjoying the spillover in the form of new job opportunities.

Microsoft has to date committed to spend RM300 million to nurture some 500 companies within the next three years, and in the process, expects to provide more than 5,000 job opportunities to local talents.

Each of the qualified start up company will be injected with RM650,000 worth of software products, such as Expression Studio and Visual Studio Team System. In a nut shell, participants will be provided with access to Microsoft full featured development tools, software licenses and technical support without any cost incurred.

At the moment, 10 companies have already enrolled in the BizSpark program and enjoying the support from Microsoft team.

To make the program a success, Microsoft has also roped in a number of partners including Technopreneur Association of Malaysia (TeAM), Craddle Investment Programme, Association of the Computer and Multimedia Industry of Malaysia and Multimedia Development Corporation (MDec).

Interested Malaysians who wish to know further about Microsoft BizSpark program can attend their event, called Get Your Startups Fired Up Today to be held in Penang, as per following detail:

Date: Saturday, November 29, 2008
Time: 2.00pm – 6.00pm
Venue: SUNTECH, Penang MSC Cybercity, CBD Bayan Baru, Penang (location map)

For inquiry, call 603-7958 5155 for assistance.

Microsoft IT Academy To Expand

Microsoft IT Academy program, which is run in Malaysia through partnership between the Ministry of Higher Education and local IT training companies, is set to expand to cover more tertiary institutions.

The academy is part of the industrial certification program that offers Microsoft professional certification to students in universities and colleges.

The Malaysia academy was launched in early 2006 as an effort to expose the participants with the relevant technology and help the graduates meeting the employment demands.

Some of the current participating higher learning institutions are Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Politeknik Ungku Omar (PUO).

With the new expansion plan, more than 20 tertiary institutions will be able to enjoy the program and offer it to their students.

The Microsoft IT Academy is part of the company’s global Partners in Learning initiative which is currently available in more than 100 countries worldwide, covering America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and Middle East. Through the program, a number of certifications are made available for participants to choose such as IT Pro Platinum, Microsoft Office Specialist and Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP).

Through the program, students will be taught and train on skills that will be handful for them in the working and employment world, based on Microsoft technology and development.

Great Employers for New Graduates

Fortune magazine, with the help from Experience Inc., recently completed a report that lists down 20 great employers for new graduates (full list here).

While the data compiled mostly cover their operation in the United States, the finding is nevertheless pretty much consistent with the global reputation of the employers featured in the list.

Some of the criteria used as measurement in the survey are the start up salary and compensation offered, benefits and perks, workplace flexibility, growth opportunities and so on.

Some of the featured employers:

1. PricewaterhouseCoopers

Image: wikimedia.org

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) can never be far away from top graduates. While the company now stands tall with more than 100,000 full time employees worldwide, the figure does not seem to be enough. They want more, and they want excellent graduates. PwC is currently the biggest of the ‘Big 4’ audit firms (others being Ernst & Young, Deloitte and KPMG), and hires more than 4,000 university graduates annually to work in various departments including actuary, accounting, audit, IT and so on.

2. Lehman Brothers

Image: bloomberg.com

More than 500 graduates in the United States were hired upon graduation last year, with a reported average annual salary of $60,000 ($5,000) per month, a rather impressive figure for a start. Newly hired employees will also undergo a thorough training and mentorship system, to get them up and running. Since Lehman Brothers has many offices scattered around the world, graduates will land opportunity to work in London, Milan, Paris, Hong Kong, Frankfurt and Tokyo.

3. Intel

As the world’s largest chipmaker, Intel is always in the look for best talents. Apart from getting a good job and top salary, the company has their very own university, which paves way for better learning and development. More than 400 different courses and training are offered to the employees, which can be enrolled online, face to face or on site classroom. Intel has plants and facilities in the United States, China, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, Vietnam and India.

4. Microsoft

While users of Microsoft products will certainly have a mixed feeling about the company, the employees enjoy rather generous benefits and perks. If you are a young, creative and energetic graduate, then perhaps Microsoft is a place for you to grow. A competitive annual salary of $75,000 ($6250 per month) awaits newly hired graduates. And yes, Microsoft staff drinks Starbucks for free (the one inside the office building).

5. L’Oreal

L’Oreal is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of cosmetic and beauty products with its global headquarter located in Paris, the land of fashion. The company operates in more than 100 countries worldwide, employing over 50,000 workforce. L’Oreal has a comprehensive, rotational training program that allows new hires to get themselves equipped with all the relevant skills and knowledge fast.