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microsoftlogo1-1024x680Microsoft will announce layoffs on Thursday that “substantially exceed” the largest job cuts in the company’s history, according to a New York Times report this afternoon, citing unnamed people who have been briefed on the company’s plan.

Clues cited by the newspaper include tell-tale conference room reservations by human resource managers, which is traditionally the practice for meeting with laid-off employees.

Microsoft cut about 5,800 jobs in 2009, its largest layoffs to date, at the height of the economic recession.  The company employs about 125,000 people following its acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services business, and a portion of the cuts are expected to take place among former Nokia employees. However, the cuts are also expected to go beyond that to include Microsoft’s traditional workforce.

CEO Satya Nadella foreshadowed the cutbacks in a memo to employees last week, writing that the company “will streamline the engineering process and reduce the amount of time and energy it takes to get things done. You can expect to have fewer processes but more focused and measurable outcomes. You will see fewer people get involved in decisions and more emphasis on accountability.”

Microsoft isn’t commenting. Stay tuned.

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