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Microsoft laying off thousands - Report

Cuts said to be coming mostly from sales force and hitting employees outside the US

Microsoft has begun a round of layoffs that will hit thousands of employees, according to The Seattle Times.

The Times said the cuts are expected to impact Microsoft's sales force most dramatically, with the "vast majority" of layoffs hitting employees outside the United States. The US-based non-sales staff likely to be cut would be those in functions like legal, finance, or IT who support the sales staff.

An internal memo sent to Microsoft's sales and marketing employees informed them they would need to "operate in new ways," but did not mention job cuts. The Times did not specify how many jobs would be lost, but noted that Microsoft employs 121,500 worldwide, roughly 40% of which work in sales.

Gartner analyst Ed Anderson told the paper the layoffs would be enough to underscore the need for a new approach, adding, "The kind of sales force that they need is, instead of showing up to renew the contract, a sales force that is thinking more strategically."

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