We’re hearing lots of rumors left and right about some lay-offs of Danger employees by Microsoft (who purchased Danger). There is a lot of hearsay and speculation about what this means. While Microsoft did announce a general across-the-board series of layoffs, we can’t help but wonder how much harder the Danger group was hit for a variety of possible reasons. There’s been rumors of Danger employees being moved to the secretive “Pink” project that Microsoft is working on. (Supposedly the Pink project is very similar to Danger’s back-end service) The Sidekick LX 2009 is days from launch and so a lot of employees that were needed for that might have been let go. Or they could have just pulled names out of a hat, who knows. Lay-offs are never an easy thing.
It doesn’t look like it was the entire Danger team, but definitely sounds like more than one or two. We’ve gathered up some posts to Twitter about the lay-offs. The below are either a) from a Danger employee, b) from a previous Danger employee, or c) directed at a Danger employee.
@ceejbot: Oh look, muscled goons walking around the building: layoffs today.
@ceejbot: My officemates all just got laid off. It doesn’t make any sense.
@ian: WTF? Microsoft is laying off awesome people from Danger.
@Perigosa: @jag Ugh. I am so sorry (for everyone else too).
@dangermikeb: Rough day at the office
@ahpook: Condolences to dangersoft peeps affected by layoffs, directly or otherwise.
@dangermikeb: The end of a crappy day at work.
that sucks about the danger layoffs. msft really had no clue what they wanted out of that, i guess.
@akrasia: Suffocating sadness with a load of cookies.
@tuony: Condolences to Danger peeps who were laid off today. It’s never fun, however you may be considered the lucky ones after all is said and done
To add to this information, there was also an interesting comment conversation posted on an Engadget review of the new Sidekick LX 2009. No idea who “Aenar” is or where he is getting his information from, but he provokes some interesting conversation:
Enjoy the last sidekick. MSFT just fired the remaining SK staff with armed guards and only made this thing to avoid a lawsuit with TMobile.
Roz Ho congratukated the staff and then fired the employees for making it. MSFT just wanted the IP for WinMo anyway.
Now you get a seriously debilitated “PINK”device from MSFT as your next “upgrade.” From what I have heard, it’s a joke. No PIM apps and no 3rd party development system. A typical MSFT consumer product. Copy,rush to market and FAIL.
No street cred-get the iPhone
30-40 people were let go. The UI team, media teams, hardware and some associated PMs with the Sidekick. Shocking since Microsoft is mostly Political Project Managers with chips on their shoulders.
The remainder of the SK team that the PINK team needs to write in CE(not java or NetBSD) was moved to PINK or WINMO months ago. So the people who shut the lights off on the Sidekick were thanked in an email by the Roz “Dragon Woman” Ho and fired promptly. Then, to keep employees from going apeshitzz, they had the stormtroopers from Securitas(with arms this time) walk the halls and maintain control. Sort of like the Stazi.
a) No more sidekicks. The people that made them are fired or working on the mirage of PINK,
b) Microsoft tried to weasel out of Danger’s contract with TMobile but were threatened with lawsuit
c) To make schedule, MSFT had to ship the Sidekick as designed at that point which was NetBSD and Java. VP of PMX was said to have cried at that announcement.
That’s it. No more Sidekicks.
Naming sources? Do you work for the Dragon Lady-why would I call out these sources. So I can get more people fired? The information is 90% public domain from public feeds anyway.
We don’t want to cause anyone to panic, so we’re not going to make any rash assumptions about the future of the Sidekick. Just wanted to toss the information that’s flying around up for you guys. Feel free to speculate in the comments and if you have any hard and fast info, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.