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Microsoft gearing up for layoffs? Let's hope not

Company is rumored to be preparing itself for deep layoffs in an attempt to bolster profitability. But even this Microsoft critic can't get excited about Microsofties out of work.

I've been competing with Microsoft for years--at Lineo, Novell, and now Alfresco. But I can't get even remotely excited by the prospect of a big layoff at the software giant, with some speculation suggesting it could go as deep as 10 percent of Microsoft's 91,000 full-time employees.

Another 9,100 people out of work is not a good thing, no matter how much you may dislike Microsoft.

I, for one, do not dislike Microsoft, and have profound respect for the company's execution and many of its products. I want to see Microsoft giving Google real competition on the Web, just as I'm glad to see Google forcing Microsoft to innovate on the desktop again. It may well be that Microsoft will be a stronger competitor for pruning its workforce, and I'm a big enough believer in the free market to think that in the long term, the people affected will be better off, too.

But I still don't want to see Microsoft layoffs. Not this Christmas. Not when the market can't absorb the displaced employees. Microsofties have families, too.