Microsoft has scrapped a team commited to rebuilding its appeal to customers and given nearly 200 staff the option of moving to other departments or leaving.
Staff in the “Modern Life Experiences” team have 60 days to take up a new role in Microsoft or else take severance.
It is reported that nearly 200 employees are affected by the redundancy.
Employees were given one week of severance pay for every six months worked at Microsoft, and they will still get annual bonuses in September.
One Microsoft employee wrote on LinkedIn: “To all my colleagues who faced hard news today, please let me know if there’s anything I can do.”
“The culture we created inside a giant company on our small Modern Life Experiences team was so special. Thinking of you all today.”
Microsoft previously said it aimed to cut less than one percent of its 180,000-person staff as markets deteriorated and the threat of a recession loomed.
The corporation has also slowed recruiting dramatically.
There are also no job postings on Microsoft’s careers website for “Modern Life Experiences” or “MLX,” as it is known internally.
Previous job postings describe the team as “bringing consumer products directly to the people who need them. Our mission is to empower families to learn, explore and connect in a fun and safe environment.”
The team debuted as a startup called Mobile Data Labs, which created the popular mileage-tracking program MileIQ.
After Microsoft purchased the company in 2015, the team was rebranded first as MileIQ and later as Modern Life Experiences to reflect its larger purpose to think outside the box.
It developed tools such as Microsoft’s Family Safety App and its personal financial tool Money in Excel.
Despite the relative success of the Xbox game console and the Surface PC hardware divisions, Microsoft has struggled to establish itself as a consumer-technology firm at times.
During CEO Satya Nadella’s seven-year tenure, the company’s Windows Phone operating system and devices such as the Microsoft Band fitness watch have been phased out.
Microsoft has long stated that it intends to regain consumers through a group named Modern Life and Devices.
Executive Yusuf Mehdi said: “In the last couple years, we’ve lost a little magic with consumers,” Mehdi said at the time. “This year, we begin the journey to win back consumers with our vision.”