In a statement to the Times, Microsoft said it “evaluate[s] our business on a regular basis” like most companies and that this could involve “re-deployment”. It stressed that the contractor job cuts were “not the result of the current pandemic”.
The Seattle Times and The Guardian reported that Microsoft is firing dozens of hacks and hackettes (about 50 in the US, 27 in the UK) after 30 June due to a shift to AI news production on MSN. The workers were responsible for choosing, editing and curating stories. People employed full time by Microsoft will stay at the company.