Microsoft on Wednesday cut an undisclosed number of advertising jobs but tried to put a positive spin on the move.
"I can assure you we're thinking about the exciting new opportunities that Windows 8, Xbox and Skype present for our advertising and marketing partners," a spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal.
The software giant's announcement wasn't exactly a shocker. Microsoft slashed an estimated 200 jobs last winter to streamline its marketing operations. And a report surfaced in early June that the Redmond, Wash., company was closing down its Microsoft Advertising TV Network, an ad-selling vehicle for some of NBCUniversal and Viacom's cable networks. AdWeek reported at the time that the company had already offered severance packages to workers in that operation and was considering layoffs of 15 to 30 percent of its sales force.
In another sign of its recent struggles, Microsoft last week declared a $6.2 billion accounting charge that basically reduced the value of an online ad agency it had purchased in 2007 to nothing.