Microsoft Offers Chinese Workers A Free Windows Phone To Quit

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News broke today that Microsoft is offering employees in China a Lumia 630 device to leave the company voluntarily.

Microsoft’s mass layoffs are not going over smoothly in China. Reports of protest have cropped up, with workers reacting in anger about the company’s impending job cuts that will eventually total 18,000 across the company.

When Microsoft purchased most of Nokia’s hardware assets, it acquired tens of thousands of workers. Losses from the purchase weighed down its earnings, causing the company to report a profit miss in the most recent quarter. The company is working to trim expenses to get its financials back in line with market expectations.

According to MarketWatch, Microsoft is offering the deal to up to 300 employees per day. Gifting in-kind hardware on their way out the door is surprisingly close to the dividing line between gauche, and tone-deaf.

Microsoft’s planned layoffs will heavily impact its hardware group, while leaving its main corporate campus generally unscathed. Sources around Redmond, Wash., where the company is headquartered, have indicated to TechCrunch that morale and home is intact. Elsewhere, that isn’t the case.

Investors were generally pleased with Microsoft’s cost-cutting measures — the short-term profit decline that the hardware assets will induce isn’t a problem as long as the losses end. Microsoft has promised that they will in 2016. Layoffs also lessen immediate profit impairment by allowing for a stronger cost makeup.

That doesn’t take the massive human impact into the picture — more than ten thousand lives are about to be tossed into turmoil in a difficult global economy. But at least some will walk away with a shiny new smartphone.