The rumor that Microsoft was set to lay off people on January 15th, 2009 is no longer a rumor but a fact. Staff at Microsoft have been informed that the company is readying major layoffs to its worldwide operations and it's not a small cut, either.
Currently Microsoft employs about 90,000 people across the world and from what we're hearing, some 15,000 of those are expected to be giving marching orders come January 15th. That's almost 17 percent of Microsoft's total work force, not exactly a small number.
So far, we haven't managed to confirm what departments or regions will be hit the worst, but we're hearing that MSN might be carrying the brunt of the layoffs. We're also hearing rumors about the possibility of somewhat larger staff cuts at Microsoft EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).
It's unlikely that Microsoft will be laying off a lot of people in departments and regions that are doing well, and considering the recent upturn in console sales, we have a feeling that at least most of the people working in the Xbox 360 departments will be pretty safe.
The layoffs will take place a week before Microsoft's Q2 earnings report, which takes place on the 22nd of January 2009, and it doesn't seem like the date set for the layoffs is coincidental. We'll bring you more on this subject as it unfolds.