Microsoft reportedly planning major staff layoffs

The new layoffs will affect the company's hardware group and other businesses.

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Credit: Robert Scoble/Creative Commons

Microsoft plans a new round of layoffs that could affect its hardware and smartphones businesses, besides other parts of the company, according to a newspaper report.

The job cuts will be in addition to the 18,000 staff the company said it would let go about a year ago, The New York Times reported, quoting people briefed on the plans who requested anonymity. The announcement of the cuts could come as early as Wednesday, according to the report, which did not specify the number of staff that will be laid off. Microsoft had over 118,000 employees globally at the end of March, the report said.

The move is said to be a follow-up to the “tough choices” the company would have to make in areas where things are not working that CEO Satya Nadella warned of in an email to employees in late June.

The company acquired Nokia’s flagging smartphone operations last year and, despite rumors that it was planning to sell it off, is unlikely to do so given the importance of mobile services to its business.

In a bid to refocus on its core business, Microsoft has handed off its display advertising business to AOL in nine markets. It also sold last month its Bing Maps street-image mapping operation to Uber Technologies, a deal that involved the transfer of about 100 employees working on image collection and data analysis.

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