Microsoft is preparing to whack 15,000 people in two weeks, says Fudzilla, 17% of its global work force. A cut of this magnitude seems highly unlikely, although the targeted areas do make sense.
Unless Microsoft’s business has been absolutely crushed in the past two months, there is no reason for the company to suddenly cut this much cost. Microsoft’s margins are still fine, and much of its revenue is generated from multi-year contracts (and is therefore unlikely to see a massive intra-quarter hit).
The only way we could see Microsoft laying off this many people is if the company decided to eliminate business units. And if Microsoft did decide to restructure its business, it would likely sell rather than shut down divisions, including MSN (If Microsoft wants to get out of the consumer Internet business, which it should, the best way to do it is to spin its online operations into Yahoo in exchange for a big piece of the company.) Microsoft just hired a new head of MSN, and it is certainly possible that he will make some cuts. But 15,000 sounds extreme