Steve Ballmer Outlines Cost-Cutting Measures in Memo to Microsoft Employees

We’ve got out hands on the full memo from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to the company’s employees.

The full text is below, but I want to highlight some of the tough measure Microsoft is putting in place in order to reduce expenses:

To increase efficiency, we’re taking a series of aggressive steps. We’ll cut travel expenditures 20 percent and make significant reductions in spending on vendors and contingent staff. We’ve scaled back Puget Sound campus expansion and reduced marketing budgets. We’ll also reduce costs by eliminating merit increases for FY10 that would have taken effect in September of this calendar year.

I’m sure folks are glad to still have a job, but it looks like salaries will be frozen for the time being.

The full memo:

MSFT Shares Down 8% – Why I Don’t Think it’s Due to Announced Job Cuts or Profit Decline

Microsoft missed Wall Street estimates for its quarterly earnings and announced it would cut 5,000 jobs, but I don’t believe either of these two factors play a major role in the 8% share drop this morning.

I’ll tell you why and then I’ll tell you what’s really accounting for the decline in PPS (price per share) today.

First, the earnings miss. OK, so MSFT missed Wall Street expectations by 2 cents and its profit dropped from $4.71 billion this time last last year to $4.17 billion. But, it’s overall revenue grew from $16.63 billion to $17.1 billion in the same period. So, that suggests that the money is coming in, it’s just that Microsoft needs to shed some excess baggage expenses.

More Google Cuts in Advance of Earnings Report

By Carrie Hill

Tomorrow after the market closes, Google will release their earnings report and it looks like they’re racing to make that bottom line look more appealing to investors.  Let’s break down the issues for stock-market-novices like myself.

As Andy reported earlier this week, search spending was down around 8% for the 4th quarter—but according to an article in MediaPost, the clicks are still coming in. Ad pricing is declining to keep people spending money on the revenue model.  The shoppers are still there, but making the end-sale is a now bit more difficult and people are more reluctant to invest in PPC when the cost per conversion is rising—hence the drop in cost per click rates. 

Do Fake Viral Videos Hurt More Than They Help?

With the rise in popularity of creating fake viral videos to promote products, we have to start wondering if they do more harm than good. This is a question Sarah Perez recently asked over on ReadWriteWeb.

Sarah presents the latest case of viral hoaxing, featuring a blonde woman claiming to be looking for the person she met in a cafe the other day. She establishes a connection with the viewer by talking about how she was drawn to him, but not in a creepy way. She is looking to return the jacket she left behind, and is asking for him to email her on the account she setup and gives out in the video.

The real purpose of the video is to create awareness for the jacket which is sold by the creator of the video, Witchery menswear.

The Next Gphone

It’s definitely time for more Gphone rumors, don’t you think? Read Write Web reports today on a rumored Gphone from Samsung.

Once the topic of furious rumor and debate, the Gphone has cooled off. The first Gphone, the T-Mobile G1, debuted in October. While it was pretty cool, it was obviously far from perfect.

Design issues with the slide-out keyboard gave many pause, and naturally there have been a few other issues with Google’s Android OS. Many have said they’d rather wait until Google irons out the issues that plague all new OSes.

Whether the issues with the phone or the operating system have dampened the popularity, since the G1 premiered, there have been almost no rumors about future Gphones. Motorola’s promised Gphone was originally due out next quarter, but probably won’t premier until the end of the year.

Free Audiobook for All Readers: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”

As regular readers know, we love to spoil you with free stuff!

Today’s giveaway could be one of the biggest EVER, because everyone of you will get something for free–no strings, not contest entries!

Here’s the deal.

Get a FREE download of Stephen Covey’s audiobook “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. NO CREDIT CARD REQUIRED. This is a limited time offer compliments of Audible.com. Audible.com is the leading provider of audio books and spoken word content on the internet. Audible content can be downloaded to your Apple iPod and hundreds of MP3 devices. I’ve used Audible–on and off–for many years, and it’s a great way to download audio books–especially free ones!

We’ll have another great contest coming up soon, so stay tuned by subscribing to our RSS feed.

Google Closes Print Ads – Still a One Trick Pony?

For the past couple of years, Google has worked hard to try and convince the world that it’s not a one-trick pony. Today, it admits that its enormous success with paid search ads does not mean it can dominate other marketing channels.

In other words, it’s shutting down Google Print Ads.

While we hoped that Print Ads would create a new revenue stream for newspapers and produce more relevant advertising for consumers, the product has not created the impact that we — or our partners — wanted. As a result, we will stop offering Print Ads on February 28. For advertisers who have campaigns already booked, we will place their ads through March 31.

Translation? You were right, we were wrong…..neighhhhhhh!

(hat-tip)