Microsoft: Not such a fun place to work anymore

Microsoft (MSFT) is going on a major cost-cutting diet to reign in expenses. The goal of CFO Chris Liddell is to save billions in costs to compensate for much slower revenue growth (if any) and adjust to a five-year market outlook that's far from rosy. Yep, it's the time-honored way for middle-aged, slow-growth companies to increase profits -- by slicing fat and squeezing perks.

As a result of this new-found frugality, employees of the Redmond, Washington giant will likely be feeling a bit less comfortable in upcoming years. The layoffs of roughly 5,000 employees since January 2009 were eerie reminders that even mighty Microsoft is not immune to the whims of the global economy. With the days of milk and honey on the wane, every pet project, business-class plane ticket, and internal startup is going to be called on the carpet as Redmond ratchets down.