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Microsoft prepares to cut jobs - reports

Microsoft is preparing to cut more jobs - possibly today - unofficial sources at the company are saying.

According to Techflash, the company is rife with rumours that the axe is about to fall, but no-one quite knows where. It is thought the cuts won't amount to a massive slashing of the 88,596 worldwide workforce - more like a bit of pruning ahead of the new financial year, which for Microsoft kicks of this month. The firm will report its quarterly and annual earnings on July 22.

Microsoft last year outlined a plan to cut 5,000 jobs by June this year and set about doing so immediately. It is thought the latest cull will involve fewer numbers and anxiety is high in Seatle, where some workers are almost certain to be affected.

The firm is struggling of late, despite swimming in cash. Although it did get to produce an operating system in Windows 7 that managed not to fail in the manner of Vista, the firm is facing competition from the likes of Google in its lucrative Office business and its venture into the phone business with Kin left the outfit with large amounts of egg on its face.

Despite this, the cuts are likely to start at the bottom rather than the top, which is the usual perverse way of things.