When Microsoft closed the acquisition of Nokia's handset unit, its headcount swelled by over 25,000 employees. As with many acquisitions, there will be inevitable overlaps and duplication of roles, and Microsoft will be looking to reduce some of that excess down in the very near future.
Prior to the purchase, Microsoft had over 100,000 employees around the world and with the addition of a further 25,000, that's a lot of paperwork for the HR department. It's not really a surprise that Microsoft is looking to reduce its headcount with some estimates suggesting that as much as 10% of its workforce could be released from employment.
These types of cuts are nothing new; with nearly every major corporate acquisition, some staffing has to be cut to reduce redundancy in the organization - you don't need a Lumia marketing department and a Windows Phone marketing department, for example.
The report states that the announcement of the cuts could come before the company's annual sales meeting that kicks off in late July; not to be confused with its partner conference which is July 14th-17th.
While it is never easy to lay off employees and even harder if you are one of those affected by the move, it is a sad but unavoidable reality of business. Microsoft's year end was June 30th, so that means that employee reviews are currently being conducted, and may well be used as a tool to select existing Microsoft employees as part of the cuts, if indeed they go that deep.