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Friday, January 23, 2009
Microsoft to Eliminate 5,000 Jobs

In an unprecedented but expected move, Microsoft announced today that it could lay off up to 5,000 people and reduce headcount-related expenses, vendors and contingent staff, facilities, capital expenditures and marketing.

The company reported revenue of $16.63 billion for the second quarter ended Dec. 31, 2008, a 2% increase over the same period of the prior year. Operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $5.94 billion, $4.17 billion and $0.47, declines of 8%, 11% and 6%, respectively, compared with the prior year.

"While we are not immune to the effects of the economy, I am confident in the strength of our product portfolio and soundness of our approach," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. "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."

As part of this plan, Microsoft will eliminate jobs in R&D, marketing, sales, finance, legal, HR, and IT over the next 18 months, including 1,400 jobs today. These cuts, according to the company, will reduce the company?s annual operating expense run rate by approximately $1.5 billion and reduce fiscal year 2009 capital expenditures by $700 million

Client revenue declined 8% as a result of PC market weakness and a continued shift to lower priced netbooks. However, strong annuity licensing drove Server & Tools revenue growth of 15%. Entertainment and Devices revenue grew 3% driven by strong holiday demand for Xbox 360 consoles with a record 6 million units sold in the quarter.

During the quarter, Microsoft showcased significant new product innovations by debuting Windows 7, Windows Azure, Office Web applications, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Office Communications Server 2007 R2. Microsoft also announced general availability of Silverlight 2, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Windows Small Business Server 2008, Windows Essential Business Server 2008 and a new release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

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