Microsoft has begun the second phase of the layoffs announced earlier this year in its ongoing campaign to reduce costs.
The latest cuts are said to number in the thousands, and are believed to complete nearly all of the 5,000 layoffs the company estimated it would need to make after posting disappointing financial results in January.
The initial round of layoffs were the first in Microsoft's history, and the total will represent some five per cent of its workforce. The latest series will affect employees in the US and internationally.
In a corporate email leaked to the press, chief executive Steve Ballmer did not rule out the possibility of more layoffs should the company's fortunes fail to improve.
"As we move forward, we will continue to closely monitor the impact of the economic downturn on the company, and if necessary take further actions on our cost structure including additional job eliminations," Ballmer wrote.
"Because our success at Microsoft has always been the direct result of the talent, hard work, and commitment of our people, eliminating positions is hard. "
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