Microsoft Jettisons 5,000 Employees

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) today joined the ranks of IT companies laying off workers because of tough economic times.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant said Thursday it’s eliminating 5,000 jobs over the next 18 months. About 1,400 people got the axe already today.

Microsoft blamed the cuts on worse-than-projected fiscal second-quarter earnings – the company expects the numbers to fall by 11 percent. Microsoft is selling fewer computers and operating systems than it had forecast.

These layoffs are Microsoft’s farthest-reaching ever. They cover the research, finance, technology and sales divisions.

Microsoft’s news came the day after Intel and Ericsson each announced layoffs of 5,000 per company as well.

Microsoft’s stocks had fallen more than 10 percent by early afternoon trading on Thursday.

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