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Microsoft to cut 5.5% of work force
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10:00, January 23, 2009

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Software giant Microsoft announced on Thursday that it would slash 5.5 percent of its jobs "in light of the further deterioration of global economic conditions."

The cut would affect 5,000 of its nearly 90,000 employees, and 1,400 layoffs would take effect on Thursday, according to the announcement.

This would be the first mass layoff in the 33-year-old tech giant's history.

Meanwhile, Microsoft said it posted revenue growth of only 2 percent, to 16.63 billion dollars, and an 11-percent drop in net income, to 4.17 billion dollars in its fiscal second quarter.

This fell short of Microsoft's previous forecasts and Wall Street's expectations.

Microsoft attributed all this to weak demand for personal computers that run its Windows operating system and Office software.

The news sent Microsoft shares down by more than 8 percent on Thursday morning.

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said his company was not immune to the effects of the economy, but he was confident in the strength of Microsoft product portfolio and soundness of its approach.

"We will continue to manage expenses and invest in long-term opportunities to deliver value to customers and shareholders, and we will emerge an even stronger industry leader than we are today," he said.

Source: Xinhua

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