August and September are employee-review months at Microsoft and because the company is in the midst of a massive 18,000-person layoff - with the final 5,000 cuts occurring over the next few months - there's a lot at stake. This is the first time in years that employee reviews will not be based on a curved scale that ranks employees against each other. Microsoft officially killed that old system, known as "stack ranking" in November. With stack ranking, no matter how well an individual performed, that person might still get a bad review because a certain percentage of folks had to be ranked as a bottom performers compared to their co-workers. However we've been hearing for months from various Microsoft insiders that the old review system wasn't wholly gone.
Read the Economic Times news report here.