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Microsoft announces ‘some’ job cuts

San Francisco, United States | AFP | Microsoft said Thursday it was cutting an unspecified number of jobs amid reports the US tech giant was reorganizing its global sales operations.

“Today, we are taking steps to notify some employees that their jobs are under consideration or that their positions will be eliminated,” Microsoft said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.

Earlier, CNBC television said the company would be cutting some 3,000 positions, mostly from its non-US sales staff.

“Like all companies, we evaluate our business on a regular basis. This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time-to-time, re-deployment in others,” the company said in a statement.

The layoffs come as the US software colossus refocuses its sales force on making Microsoft a pivotal part of businesses relying on cloud computing, according to media reports.

Microsoft had more than 121,000 employees worldwide at the end of March, according to its website.

Chief executive Satya Nadella has sought to reduce the tech giant’s focus on software, shifting to cloud computing and business services.

“From large multinationals to small and medium businesses to non-profits all over the world, organizations are using Microsoft’s cloud platforms to power their digital transformation,” Nadella said when the company reported its earnings for the first three months of this year.

– Rising cloud –

Microsoft reported revenue gains in cloud and business service operations, which offset a drop in “personal computing,” which includes the Windows operating system that once made up its core business.

Microsoft said revenue from its “Intelligent Cloud” rose 11 percent from a year earlier to $6.8 billion.

Microsoft said its Office commercial products and cloud services revenue increased seven percent.

Office consumer products and cloud services revenue rose 15 percent, as the number of Office 365 consumer subscribers increased to 26.2 million.

Microsoft is to release its earnings for the recently-ended quarter on July 20.

Microsoft’s cloud platform, called Azure, faces competition from technology powerhouses Amazon and Google.

Each of the companies has also been investing in artificial intelligence which can make services hosted in the internet cloud more intuitive and insightful when it comes to handling data or catering to needs of users.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft has announced thousands of jobs cuts in recent years, the most severe being 18,000 positions eliminated in 2014 related to its acquisition of Nokia and failed efforts in the smartphone market.

The technology giant cut 7,800 jobs in 2015, and 4,700 last year.

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