Microsoft Cuts Worldwide Sales Force to Focus on Cloud Services

Today’s topics include Microsoft announcing it's cutting its sale force to push cloud services; the CopyCat malware ad fraud attack infecting 14 million Android devices; Symantec's acquisition of browser isolation vendor Fireglass; and Dell improving the security and management of virtual desktop environments. 

Microsoft is cutting thousands of jobs as it realigns its sales force toward cloud services. Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Redmond, Wash., technology giant is slashing thousands of jobs in its sales organization in a bid to reinforce its cloud-first product strategy.

It's an approach that has been paying off handsomely for the company in recent years. "[Microsoft is] taking steps to notify some employees that their jobs are under consideration or that their positions will be eliminated," confirmed a Microsoft spokesperson to eWEEK.

Approximately 3,000 positions, most from Microsoft's sales group, are being eliminated, according to CNBC. That figure represents less than a tenth of Microsoft's total sales force, and most of those layoffs will affect workers outside of the United States.

Security firm Check Point on July 6 disclosed a newly discovered attack against Android devices it calls "CopyCat" that has already claimed at least 14 million victims.

The Android CopyCat malware generates revenue for attackers through several mechanisms, including ad fraud and affiliate app installations.

The CopyCat malware is able to inject code into Android's Zygote application launcher to both download new applications and display fraudulent online advertisements to victims.

The unauthorized application installation and fraud ads have generated approximately $1.5 million in revenue over a two-month period for CopyCat attackers, according to Check Point's estimates.

Symantec is acquiring privately held browser security isolation vendor Fireglass, the company announced last week. Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed.

"Stopping malware is why we're here, and this technology from Fireglass has a very serious impact on stopping malware," Greg Clark, CEO of Symantec, told eWEEK. Fireglass' core technology is a browser isolation platform that enables users to browse the web in a highly secure manner.

Fireglass raised $20 million in Series A venture funding in January 2016 from investors including Norwest Venture Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Singtel Innov8.

Dell officials are aiming to make it easier for customers to deploy and manage their virtual desktop environments with new and enhanced hardware and software offerings, with some targeting small and midsize businesses in particular.

The products, which were rolled out July 6, include a new hyperconverged infrastructure solution powered by Nutanix’s software that officials said will give SMBs capabilities for their virtual desktop infrastructure environments similar to those of larger companies.

In addition, Dell is pushing greater security in both a new mobile thin client and an updated Wyse operating system and improved management with new software that gives customers a single suite for managing their thin clients whether on-premises or through the cloud.