Skip to Content

Hard Times Hit Tech Hard

Profits plunge and technology companies cut jobs.
January 22, 2009

In hard times, it’s fair to say that some consumers cut back on electronic gadgets. And in response, a number of traditionally healthy companies, nervous about falling profits, have announced drastic moves. Microsoft, for one, started its largest mass layoff ever, cutting 5,000 jobs over the next 18 months. The company’s second quarter results showed an 11 percent drop in profits–something that can be explained, in part, by a sharp drop in sales of its Windows operating system.

But Microsoft isn’t the only one. Intel, maker of the chips inside those now dispensable gadgets, suffered its worst quarter in 25 years, prompting the company to lay off at least 5,000 employees. Sony, maker of televisions, cameras, and the PlayStation 3 video-game console, expects to post an operating loss of $3 billion. LG Electronics, manufacturer of cell phones, reported a loss of $500 million. Samsung Electronics is expected to post its first quarterly loss ever.

And even the sale of used and overstocked goods, which can appeal to consumers in a bad economy, isn’t helping matters at eBay. The auction site announced a 31 percent drop in profits.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting

With plans to create realistic synthetic embryos, grown in jars, Renewal Bio is on a journey to the horizon of science and ethics.

VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence

On key metrics, a VR experience elicited a response indistinguishable from subjects who took medium doses of LSD or magic mushrooms.

This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine

Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.