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Microsoft lays off 3,000 employees

Microsoft Corp. today laid off 3,000 workers, the second wave of a major reduction the company announced in January. And in a memo to employees, CEO Steve Ballmer said more cuts are possible.

“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 in an e-mail confirmed by a Microsoft spokeswoman.

“As part of the plan we announced in January to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, today we are eliminating additional positions across several areas of the company,” said the spokeswoman. “While job eliminations are always difficult, we are taking these necessary actions in response to the global economic downturn.”

Microsoft said in January that it would eliminate 5,000 positions, more than 5% of the 96,000 full-time workers it had at the time. It laid off 1,400 of those employees at the time, most of them in the Seattle area where it is headquartered.

The 3,000 employees notified today are split between workers in the United States and elsewhere, said a spokeswoman. “With this announcement, we are mostly but not all done with the planned 5,000 job eliminations by June 2010,” Ballmer wrote.

In a 10-Q filing to the SEC on April 23, Microsoft said it has set aside $237 million for severance for 3,400 laid-off employees, “all of whom are expected to leave the Company by June 30, 2010.”

As mentioned in January, Microsoft still plans to hire 2,000 to 3,000 workers over the next 18 months.

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