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Thursday, June 29, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Microsoft cutting 98 sales-group jobs in Redmond

Seattle Times technology reporter

Microsoft is cutting 98 jobs in Redmond in its U.S. sales group, it announced today.

The layoffs are part of broader cuts within the division, that will eliminate 148 positions across the country.

Microsoft spokesman Lou Gellos said in a statement that the cuts are aimed to "better align a small subset of field and headquarter positions more closely with the needs of our enterprise customers and partners. To achieve this we are reducing select regional and operational positions, as well as roles where more specialized skills are needed, and increasing the number of customer-facing roles throughout the U.S."

Gellos said the company is eliminating 214 positions while adding 66 new jobs. The cuts represent fewer than 5 percent of total employment in the U.S. sales group. Microsoft has more than 70,000 employees worldwide.

Mini-Microsoft, a popular employee blog that has been described as a "virtual union hall," carried several posts this week speculating about layoffs at the company.

Gellos said this is not the beginning of a broader series of staff reductions.

Benjamin J. Romano: bromano@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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