Microsoft 'mulling thousands of redundancies'
Microsoft are examining the prospect of making thousands of employees redundant due to the economic downturn.
Up to 17% of Microsoft's global workforce could face the axe.
As a US company experts warn that overseas employees will be the first to go with as many as 15,000 being made unemployed.
Microsoft's 3,000 employees in the UK face an uncertain 2009 as the software giant considers a plan for substantial redundancies to combat the economic downturn.
At least 10 per cent, and possibly as much as 17 per cent, of its global workforce could be cut in what would be the first mass lay-offs in the company's 32-year history. Across the world, up to 15,000 jobs could be under threat.
According to rumours in the US, overseas divisions could be particularly hard hit, and an announcement of the plan could come within two weeks. The company said yesterday that it does not comment on speculation.
Analysts say the software giant faces pressure on several fronts this year. With retail spending having turned down, consumer sales of its Windows operating system – installed on nine out of ten personal computers – could slow. Businesses, too, are scaling back, threatening licence fees from its Office products, including Microsoft Word, and other corporate software