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Finnish Government Criticizes Microsoft For Job Cuts, 'Broken Promises' (softpedia.com) 161

jones_supa writes: Softpedia reports: "Microsoft has recently announced a new round of job layoffs at its Mobile unit in Finland, as it moves forward with its restructuring and reorganization plan following the acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services unit. The Finnish government has criticized Microsoft for turning to more job cuts in the country, pointing out that the company has a huge responsibility to help those who are being let go. Microsoft's latest job cut round included 1,850 people, 1,350 of which are said to be working in Finland. 'I am disappointed because of the (initial) promises made by Microsoft,' Finance Minister Alexander Stubb was quoted as saying by Reuters. 'One example is that the data center did not materialize despite the company's promise.'" He refers to Microsoft's promise in 2013 to invest $250 million in a data center located in Finland that was specifically meant to provide services to European customers. All of these worries are not unfounded as the employment situation in Finland is still quite terrible, and the decline of Nokia's former phone business certainly exacerbates the situation.
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Finnish Government Criticizes Microsoft For Job Cuts, 'Broken Promises'

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  • Eh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    So, it's Microsoft's job to make busy work for these people instead of letting them go?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yup, it's not the USA.

      • it's not the USA.

        Let's hope Microsoft know that. Otherwise there might be some very confused Indians arriving in Salo looking for someone to train them.

    • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Saturday May 28, 2016 @08:43AM (#52200727)

      No it is microsofts job not to lie to their employees and governments. If you promise something you should do it.

      Nokia was a great company until Microsoft tried to install Windows and it finally broke nokias phones.

      • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Saturday May 28, 2016 @09:17AM (#52200855)

        If you promise something you should do it.

        When you deal with businesses, promises mean nothing unless they are contractual obligations. If they have it in writing, then they should take Microsoft to court. If they don't have it in writing, then they learned a valuable lesson, and maybe next time they will be smarter.

        • If you deal with businesses you may expect a half measure of truth. With Microsoft, it's a heaping cup of lies.

      • No it is microsofts job not to lie to their employees and governments. If you promise something you should do it.

        Nokia was a great company until Microsoft tried to install Windows and it finally broke nokias phones.

        The Finnish Government does not realize that American companies make money by getting rid of people. Lopping off ten thousand or so people is done with as much concern as changing the brand of towels in the toilet.

        If the Finnish government didn't realize the MO of American companies it is their fault for entering into the deal. Its not like we make it a secret.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Nokia was having problems to survive amid fierce competition.

          They thought partnering with Microsoft would help; having seen the many, many times that Microsoft managed to screw others, we said it wasn't such a good idea.

          But like we see here, whenever one brings up that subject, one's mocked as "hater", "paranoid", "troll" -- or worse.

          Very well, things went bad and now who's to blame? Microsoft? It's their nature like in the scorpion fable.

          We wanted (and still want!) Linux devices. Put another name on it if

          • Microsoft has been late to the party so often, always thinking they can dominate the market they know nothing about. Why they could possibly do if they left thngs alone instead of trying to do things the Microsoft way.

        • by fnj ( 64210 )

          Lopping off ten thousand or so people is done with as much concern as changing the brand of towels in the toilet.

          And it is as stupid a practice as trying to flush towels down the toilet!

        • Nokia was blamed by Germany in the past, for not going through with promises to have a major manufacturing area there, but the downturn in phones meant they pulled back.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Net sales from Nokia worldwide (billion euros) :

        2008 : 50.71
        2009 : 40.98
        2010 : 42.45
        2011 : 38.66
        2012 : 30.18
        2013 : 12.71

        Nokia was falling like a rock when Microsoft bought it. Saying Microsoft broke Nokia is a completely dishonest comment.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          It started falling like a rock when Microsoft stooge Stephen Elop joined as CEO in 2010. It had its problems before then but Elop destroyed the company with a series of poor decisions, allowing Microsoft to buy it for a fraction of what it was worth in 2008. Maemo and its successors might have rejuvenated the company, or Nokia could've been making Android handsets by now but instead the brand was tied to the huge dead weight of Windows Phone and was dragged to its doom as a result. It's sad because Nokia

          • Re:Eh? (Score:4, Informative)

            by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday May 28, 2016 @12:34PM (#52201503) Journal
            Did you read the numbers? Their sales dropped by 20% from 2008-2009. There was a slight up-tick in 2010, so blaming the CEO who took over in 2010 is nonsense. Nokia had a decent kernel and a crappy userland for their smartphone range in 2005. Their solution was to replace the kernel with Linux and to have a dozen teams compete internally on a new userland, each with far more interest in sabotaging the others than on producing something to compete externally. In hindsight, adopting Windows Phone was a bad idea (though largely because Microsoft failed to get buy-in from third party app developers), but Nokia didn't have anything internal to compete with iOS and Android and their attempts to develop something were tearing the company apart internally. They basically had the choice of Android or Windows Phone. The margins in the Android handset market are tiny - even in 2010, few companies other than Google and Samsung were making money - and there was little competition in the Windows Phone market.
    • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Daemonik ( 171801 ) on Saturday May 28, 2016 @08:47AM (#52200741) Homepage

      Microsoft is a large corporation. They could have made an investment in a new direction using these people. Layoffs are just the quick and easy out.

      They didn't have to buy Nokia in the first place. They completely wasted the resource and all their investors money for no net return because they never really wanted to be a phone company, it was just a bullet point on the "How do we measure compared to Google and Apple" powerpoint slide.

      It would be nice if corporations saw people as the resources they are rather than just expendable cogs. It's not the workers fault Microsoft's board of directors couldn't figure out how to run a phone division.

      • They didn't have to buy Nokia in the first place.

        And they didn't have to be permitted to buy Nokia in the first place, but that was allowed to happen. So... why? Who got rich[er] there?

      • They could have made an investment in a new direction using these people.

        Or they could make an investment in a new direction, using new people with the appropriate skill sets. The net number of jobs could be the same, and the jobs would be more stable since they would actually make sense.

        • by geoskd ( 321194 )

          Or they could make an investment in a new direction, using new people with the appropriate skill sets. The net number of jobs could be the same, and the jobs would be more stable since they would actually make sense.

          That is remarkably difficult because the available people in the job pool will almost definitely not match up well to the jobs you have open if you are starting a new direction. If you are doing RnD towards a new product line, you need developers and engineers in the top 20% (probably closer to top 5%). What is typically available in large numbers in the unemployed pool is the bottom half. These people are perfectly good if you have an existing product line that just needs maintenance, a few new features or

          • What is typically available in large numbers in the unemployed pool is the bottom half.

            That is why you should avoid hiring unemployed people, who are just someone else's rejects. Instead, you want to steal employees from other companies, or hire people directly out of school.

          • Unless you are the flight simulator guys. :-)
      • Microsoft is a large corporation. They could have made an investment in a new direction using these people..

        But layoffs are the quick and easy way to help out the share price in the short term. Investing in a new direction with these, or new, people is a longer term strategy that doesn't help the share price near term. In fact it probably hurts it. Of course it is probably better for the company and society in the long term but unfortunately most corporate leaders (and politicians) are only interested in the short term results.

        • But layoffs are the quick and easy way to help out the share price in the short term.

          This, so very much this. Large corporations barely exist anymore for any purpose other than churning the short term stock. Nobody "invests" in a company anymore, they gamble and hedge on femtosecond stock trades by computer algorithms. It's pathetic.

          The stock market should be treated as the gambling establishment it's become and be taxed comparably. Maybe then people will actually invest money in long term growth again instead of trying to get rich before it all burns to ashes.

      • Just lolling at your wording.

        I wish corporations saw people as people. How low we've sunk where being seen as a resource is a noble goal :)

        On the greater point, I completely agree though. Few things throw your perspective into flux when good hardworking talented people are just thrown away by corporations.

        We all get it. No money assigned to their division or project. It just reeks.

    • by camg188 ( 932324 )
      The Finnish government apparently has put more people out of work than Microsoft. Their economic decline is all on the government. Maybe someone should be criticizing them.
      • Naw, the decline is because they put so much hope into a single company. They are diversified but not enough. There's a lot of engineering skills there.

    • by geoskd ( 321194 )

      So, it's Microsoft's job to make busy work for these people instead of letting them go?

      It is when they made assurances to regulators, prior to the acquisition, that certain things would not happen. Now Microsoft is going back on those promises.

      I do find it telling thaqt Microsoft had to go all the way to Finland to find anyone dumb enough to trust them at their word.

      To anyone thinking of doing business with Microsoft I have only one piece of advice: Get it in writing.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        To anyone thinking of doing business with Microsoft I have only one piece of advice: Get it in writing.

        But I've already got it in writing. See? Here it is, in .DOCX format, stored in Office 365.

        We'll do whatever we damn well want, whenever we want, HOWever we want.

        Wait, I don't remember it saying that before.

    • No wonder their economy is in the toilet and Microsoft is getting the hell out of Dodge. Why would anyone want to operate a business under those kind of regulations? For once, I can't blame Microsoft.

    • They did make promises to invest, and reneged on that.

    • Microsoft executed a fatally flawed plan and it is the innocent workers in Finland who suffer. This feels to much like the old feudal days where the Lords made the calls but it was the peasants who suffered. Americans may be used to that, but in recent decades Europeans have mostly moved beyond such a lack of accountability.
  • Same old MS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Of course it doesn't end well for you guys. It never does. You really can't be surprised by their ethics at this point. Now bend over while we force-install this mobile OS on your desktop!

  • Corporate lies... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daemonik ( 171801 ) on Saturday May 28, 2016 @08:38AM (#52200719) Homepage

    When will politicians stop believing corporate promises (lies)?? Corporations are only in it for themselves, they have zero concern for the communities they are present in.

    Giving corporations sweetheart deals for promises of jobs or investment is the worst possible use of public money. It's corporate welfare, except these welfare recipients are spending the check on hookers and blow.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      When will politicians stop believing corporate promises (lies)

      Maybe when politicians will stop making false promises (lies)? Why would politicians strongly condemn something they're doing all the time...

    • by Bonobo_Unknown ( 925651 ) on Saturday May 28, 2016 @08:53AM (#52200763)
      While corporate hate is hip right now I am sure that Microsoft would have preferred that their Nokia venture worked rather than flopping so hard, so given that they gave it a good shot and it didn't work what else does Microsoft owe Finland? Perhaps the Finnish shouldn't have sold Nokia in the first place.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Perhaps the Finnish shouldn't have sold Nokia in the first place.

        If they hadn't, these people would have lost their jobs long ago. It's not like Nokia was prospering before the MS takeover.

        • Re:Corporate lies... (Score:5, Informative)

          by ilguido ( 1704434 ) on Saturday May 28, 2016 @09:47AM (#52200955)

          Perhaps the Finnish shouldn't have sold Nokia in the first place.

          If they hadn't, these people would have lost their jobs long ago. It's not like Nokia was prospering before the MS takeover.

          It was expanding less than their main rivals (Samsung and Apple), but it was still expanding. After the Elop takeover and the M$ deal it tanked hard. It is not difficult to see how badly it was mismanaged under the Elop and then M$ rule: "we scrap Linux, Qt and all the plan we made years ago investing billions, but the WP7 models will be ready in 9 months, so for 9 months we have nothing to put on the market", six month later "WP8 is the new shit, so the WP7 models that we are selling in the next months are already obsolete, wait one year more for the serious stuff", two years later "WP8? Scrap that shit (I said it was the shit, no?), it will be all W10 in the future". Nokia was really strong in the emerging markets with their feature phones and low-end smartphones, but M$ wanted to tread the Apple route and this is the result.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            The Microsoft plan all along was to remove a 3rd contender. And push it to use Windows OSs altogether. So they manage to succeed at removing the 3rd option, with the unfortunate consequence that it didn't make them a strong contender in the mobile market. But you know how those C Suit clowns work. They only want some results to show for their next 10 million bonus.

          • From upthread. Nokia net sales:
            2008 : 50.71
            2009 : 40.98
            2010 : 42.45
            2011 : 38.66
            2012 : 30.18
            2013 : 12.71

            MS bought them in 2014. You are apparently using an interesting definition of 'expanding'. Care to share? We can use a laugh.

            • by Biswa ( 12403 )

              I think Elop took over in 2010. The rapid decline started after that.

              • How long is their product pipeline?

                20%/year isn't already a rapid decline?

              • I think Elop took over in 2010. The rapid decline started after that.

                The rapid decline was already well underway. If Nokia had instead become a generic Android phone shifter, their profit margins would have gone way down, and there is no way they could have continued to support such a large workforce, and they certainly would not need Symbian developers. There is no realistic scenario where these people would have kept their jobs. Microsoft certainly accelerated the implosion, but they were not the root cause.

                • Re:Corporate lies... (Score:4, Interesting)

                  by ilguido ( 1704434 ) on Saturday May 28, 2016 @03:37PM (#52202135)

                  If Nokia had instead become a generic Android phone shifter, their profit margins would have gone way down, and there is no way they could have continued to support such a large workforce, and they certainly would not need Symbian developers. There is no realistic scenario where these people would have kept their jobs. Microsoft certainly accelerated the implosion, but they were not the root cause.

                  The point is exactly that Nokia was _not_ trying to be a generic Android phone shifter, but the third contender (or fourth considering RIM) with Meego. Obviously they did not need all those Symbian developers, that's why they bought Qt and made a deal with Intel and the Linux Foundation over a Linux system for mobile devices and then hired a lot of MeeGo developers. Since MeeGo was designed to make a smooth transition from Symbian, there was indeed a realistic scenario where those people would have kept their jobs: the success of MeeGo. And since MeeGo could capitalize on the success of Symbian (it still had a 30% market share in early 2011), it had more chances at succeeding than WP.

                • They were going to be Meego, Maemo. Better than any crappy Windows phone and potentially real competition against Android or iPhone. Symbian developers were in the minority at Nokia. It was an engineering company and not a stupid apps producer. They had a respected research group (that Microsoft did not buy, they wouldn't want actual smarts tainting their image).

                  Yes the old style phones were declining. Android was only one problem, bigger problem was losing out their core non smart phone business to ch

            • From upthread. Nokia net sales: 2008 : 50.71 2009 : 40.98 2010 : 42.45 2011 : 38.66 2012 : 30.18 2013 : 12.71

              MS bought them in 2014. You are apparently using an interesting definition of 'expanding'. Care to share? We can use a laugh.

              Just three facts: Elop's Burning Memo and the M$ deal are from February 2011 [businessinsider.com], the financial crisis of 2008 put the world economy in recession in 2009 [wikipedia.org] and we're talking about the mobile devices division.

              In 2009 Nokia as a whole (it was not just a cellular phone maker, but an industrial conglomerate with many divisions) suffered from the financial crisis, so it was hit hard like many other companies, but it expected to recover and grow in 2010 and it grew in effect (operating profit was up 73%) and then t

              • They expected to grow but were wrong. MS has nothing to do with the larger Nokia.

                Face facts. Nokia was eating shit before MS came into the picture. Stuck at feature phones.

                If Nokia was so healthy and growing before MS bought them, why did they sell so cheap?

                • The majority of companies world wide were in trouble at that time. There was the recession if you're too young to remember. The investors probably went along with a futile buyout because it would get them a short term return even though it accelerated the demise. Price goes up a bit, sell it all, sit back and watch the ship sink. Microsoft guaranteed it would fail, Nokia if left alone at least had a chance of success with self determination.

                • Face facts. Nokia was eating shit before MS came into the picture. Stuck at feature phones.

                  If Nokia was so healthy and growing before MS bought them, why did they sell so cheap?

                  Because Elop and the M$ deal of 2011. I know that English is not my first language, but I think that what I wrote is pretty clear even if it may sound clunky: "After the Elop takeover and the M$ deal it tanked hard". I'm referring to the facts of 2011, not to the cheap acquisition of 2014: Nokia sealed its fate with the deal of 2011 when ex-Microsoft Elop burned down Qt, MeeGo and all the Symbian legacy to get in bed with M$ (perhaps a bed he had never left). As a consequence of that deal, Nokia as company

            • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

              Gees cherry pick data much. http://www.statista.com/statis... [statista.com] A better spread showing your chosen starting point as the very peak of Nokia. Also never forget https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] burning platform memo (an accident or done on purpose) and he go paid a bonus for the sell out and M$ paid for 70% of that bonus. Of course Elop is now at Telstra https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] so you can bet a windows anal probe 10 only policy and forcing that on end users and a convoluted conspiracy to take over

      • Microsoft was inept and incompetent. They knew *nothing* about phones and yet dictated that Nokia cancel all work on their own phones, even those already in beta testing and ready to ship, and start working on crappy Windows phones. If they really did try to make money then Microsoft leadership are utter morons. If their plan was to destroy Nokia then they were geniuses.

        Besides, they did make promises which they are breaking. It's not stated but was probably in writing though maybe not in contract form.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I agree and I disagree.

      1. Corporations are in it for themselves, much like you are in it for yourself. You can call yourself charitable and looking out for the other guy, and you may be the most generous person in the universe, but... when times get tough in one way or another, you'll take care of you first.

      2. Corporations (should) have competition. This is what makes them have to do the right thing, rather than simply feed their own bellies. If people don't like what Company A is doing, they can go to

    • Perhpas they could pass a law to make corporations keep their word or risk substantial penalties?
      • Perhpas they could pass a law to make corporations keep their word or risk substantial penalties?

        They already have that. It is called "contract law". Except MS didn't sign a contract with Finland, so they didn't actually "promise" anything.

    • When will politicians stop believing corporate promises (lies)?

      Who said he believed anything? In English we call this scapegoating. Nobody intelligent doesn't know that Microsoft is untrustworthy and deceptive. If someone chooses to go with Microsoft, you can be sure that they are getting a kickback. Only complete morons with a total disregard for history could think that Microsoft might be true to their word.

      Giving corporations sweetheart deals for promises of jobs or investment is the worst possible use of public money.

      Oh, so you do get how the game is played. I was worried there.

    • Because in Europe the governments usually aren't so rigidly hands-off like the laissez-faire utopia of America. They were naive in assuming Microsoft wouldn't blatantly lie to them and work against their own interests by creating crappy products, work against the interests of the customers by making products no one wanted, and working against the interests of their workers.

  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Saturday May 28, 2016 @08:41AM (#52200723) Homepage Journal

    It was not intentional but Finland's economy is.was very dependent on two things cell phones and paper. Yes Nokia blew it when they sold to Microsoft and did not embrace their own Linux os that looked so promising, forked Android like Amazon, or went with Android. I think Nokia could have had a real winner with an Android phone with a Nokia camera. Nokia hardware was always good as are the cameras.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Not Apple, Google killed Nokia. Nokia used to be like Samsung is today, selling a variety of generally good, reliable phones to suit any purse. Then Android came along, demonstrated how terrible Nokia's OS is and what he benefits of a common platform are (mainly many more and much cheaper apps, combined with competition driving features). Nokia's main market was dived up amongst Samsung, HTC, LG and many others all running Android.

      By the time Nokia realized what was happening it was too late, and as you men

      • No Elon killed Nokia. The decision to go to microsofts for operating system and not go for Android was a huge mistake.

        Nokia had a strong trademark and could have become the #1 player in the Android market. And thus keept on as the #1 mobile phone seller. After the 2011 letter to the employers, noone took Nokia seriously and their market share plumbered.

      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

        But it is not just nokia but the paper industry. the iPad, Kindle, and the internet in general all have greatly reduced the use of paper for things like magazines, catalogs, and books.

  • Every day he must wake up laughing in disbelief at how he got rewarded for destroying Nokia.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday May 28, 2016 @09:09AM (#52200825)

    Back when Nokia cashed in in Germany to build a plant, then when the "incentives" were running out they closed shop and moved to Romania, what was Finland's reaction when Germans (plus the German government of that time) complained and called Nokia things I can't repeat in decent company?

  • by jasnw ( 1913892 ) on Saturday May 28, 2016 @09:44AM (#52200945)
    The Seattle Times ran a tech piece [seattletimes.com] the other day about this issue, the take being that poor old Microsoft is losing a ton of money on this effort. No mention of what Microsoft mole Elop did to Nokia in order to get the price down to where MS would by it, nor how bad Microsoft (read "Balmer") handled the whole thing. Here's the link:
  • I know big companies are all about profits, but I highly doubt that everyone at Nokia was completely useless and unable to fill a spot in Microsoft after they took over. I have lots of big-company IT experience, so it's not like I'm totally unaware that there is always some dead wood. I've seen people "parked" in jobs in some benevolent companies because the divisions they were managing got killed 2 years before their retirement. I've seen people who watch cat videos all day and perform one or two simple ta

  • The Finnish government is just naive as is usual. Nothing new there. There was plenty of talks of data centers but I guess it was just the desperate grasping the straws in hopes of getting some crumbs. Whatever.

    As for Nokia, going with Windows Phones was maybe the biggest mistake they could ever have made, and plenty of Finns were happy to point that out when it happened. Of course, Finns tend to complain about everything, so that does not necessarily mean anything. But Nokia had a very long time to get int

  • Why microsoft is doing like this as it is a big company in this world. they have to provide #jobs #naukri from all over all the world . As there is lots of braches so why not accepting more. get #jobs #naukri http://www.jobschahiye.in/ [jobschahiye.in]

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