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By | Chris Williams and Paul Kunert 29th July 2016 05:57

Microsoft axes 2,850 more Windows Phone, sales staff – a week after Justin Timberlake sang on stage for them

A cruel and unusual punishment

Vid Microsoft is laying off a further 2,850 smartphone and sales staffers on top of the 1,850 workers it axed in May.

The job cuts were revealed in paperwork filed on Thursday with US financial watchdog the SEC. The doomed staff will leave the business by the end of next June. They all work in Microsoft's sales teams and its Windows Phone hardware division.

We understand 900 people in the global sales unit have already learned of their fate. This comes just days after Microsofties reveled at an internal event in Orlando, Florida, where Justin Timberlake performed on stage as a surprise guest for them.

The shock appearance of the Cry Me a River crooner marked the closing of MGX – Microsoft's Global Exchange – an annual week-long employee-only conference-slash-bash.

El Reg assumes Redmond bosses didn't want to spoil the party by chopping staff before the sales kickoff, held from July 19 to 22.

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As for the latest redundancies, here's the relevant sections of Microsoft's annual 10-K report to the SEC:

In addition to the elimination of 1,850 positions that were announced in May 2016, approximately 2,850 roles globally will be reduced during the year as an extension of the earlier plan, and these actions are expected to be completed by the end of fiscal year 2017.

As of June 30, 2016, we employed approximately 114,000 people on a full-time basis, 63,000 in the U.S. and 51,000 internationally. Of the total employed people, 38,000 were in operations, including manufacturing, distribution, product support, and consulting services; 37,000 in product research and development; 29,000 in sales and marketing; and 10,000 in general and administration.

While the layoffs affect just 2.5 per cent of Microsoft's workforce, they are very precise and telling cuts: Windows-powered mobiles managed to seize just three per cent of the global smartphone market, and now Redmond is dismantling that failed operation. ®

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