Microsoft stresses mobile, cloud initiatives at WPC following reports of massive layoffs

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Following reports that it will lay off up to 10 percent of its workforce, Microsoft kicked off its Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) this week with a stress on the positive, focusing on mobility and cloud initiatives.

A memo from Nomura Securities analyst Rick Sherlund obtained by CNET says that Microsoft will be announcing layoffs of between 5 percent and 10 percent of its workforce this month when the company reports its latest quarterly results.

While Microsoft declined to comment on the memo, it seems to dovetail with an email that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent to employees promising major engineering and organization changes coming soon to Redmond.

One mobile effort to come out of WPC is the Mobile Your Business program, an initiative of Microsoft, HP and Intel. The program combines HP's tablets and convertible PCs incorporating Intel chips and Microsoft's mobile workflow products and apps "to help businesses redefine workflows, enhance productivity and deepen customer connections," explains Erwin Visser Microsoft's general manager of Windows Commercial, in a blog.

The three firms will work together to provide channel partners with trading, sales and marketing resources to better position a drive in growth and meet customer needs. This includes a "specialized channel certification program designed specifically for HP and Microsoft authorized resellers, and spanning training, certification, incentives and rebates; marketing support such as roadshows, channel recruitment opportunities, internal training and customer engagement; and sales enablement including access to HP sales plays, cross-selling resources and customer assessment support," relates a report by Channel Partners.

In addition, Fijutsu, which launched its new 8-inch tablet this week, is teaming with Microsoft on Project Sienna, a tool that enables business pros with Excel and PowerPoint skills to create custom mobile apps.

"Fujitsu has trained over 70 developers and 100 sales personnel to utilize the solution for simple integration into overall business mobility processes. This puts Fujitsu in an advanced position to meet customer expectations for a flexible and rapid development of commercial apps on a mobile device," writes Visser.

In the cloud area, Microsoft announced the launch of Microsoft Azure Certified, which gives partners new opportunities to promote and sell their applications and services on Azure, as well as the Microsoft Cloud Solutions Provider program, which will give partners greater control of billing, provisioning, support and sales of complementary tools, products and services, writes Bob Baker, director of cloud and enterprise partner marketing at Microsoft.

For more:
- check out Visser's blog
- read the Channel Partners report
- see Baker's blog
- check out Nadella's email
- read the CNET article

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