Microsoft plans to shut down the UK office of one of the world’s leading technology firms, Skype and will reportedly lay off almost 400 people employed there. According to the Financial Times, Microsoft has said that it came to the decision for the unification of a few engineering positions but that puts at risk many roles at Skype and Yammer. This shutting down comes at a time when the country is desperately trying to make businesses work after it decided to leave the European Union. Skype’s offices in Palo Alto, Vancouver, Redmond, and various parts of Europe will still remain. Sources to the Times said that Microsoft has been increasingly replacing Skype’s employees with its own.
Microsoft had bought Skype for $8.5 billion in 2011, but recently Skype has seen its popularity decline. Skype, which was once the leader in the area, has recently been under threat from many other new voice chatting apps. Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp with their huge user base offer similar features, and added to that many business tools like Slack are also going the same way, which destroys the exclusivity of Skype. Apple’s FaceTime and Google’s Duo app also provide the video-calling option. Microsoft’s annual report in August had stated that the company would cut around 2,850 jobs globally in the fourth quarter of this year and it is evident that a part of it will be from Skype’s London shut down. Microsoft’s acquisition count in history will be more than 150, out of which it has killed many of them, including Nokia’s handset division