Aussie Microsoft staff safe from cuts: for now

One local employee sacked amid redundancies

More than 1000 Microsoft Australia employees have dodged the axe amid ongoing global staff layoffs.

Microsoft will slash its global head count — reported by The Seattle Times to be 96,000 staff — by as many as 3000 over the next 18 months as part of cost-cutting measures, with 5000 jobs slated to go in the long term.

Some 1400 jobs were immediately cut yesterday.

A Microsoft spokesperson said the local lay-offs will be "almost non-existent".

"Australia has... avoided the [cut-backs]," she said.

"I am not privvy to whether the [on going job losses] will affect Australia."

The company's contractors will be hardest hit by plans to reduce head-count by 15 percent, while full-time staff will be reduced by up to 3 percent. Some 1400 jobs will be axed immediately, despite an overall revenue increase of 2 percent.

Computerworld US reported the rising popularity of netbooks is responsible for Microsoft's 8 percent decline in client revenue.

The company will save $916 million this quarter through its cost-saving measures.

Microsoft reported in a submission to the US Securities and Exchange Commission that its research and development costs for the six months ending December 31 totalled $76 billion.

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Darren Pauli

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