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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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January 22, 2009 9:36 AM

Microsoft layoffs: What about the contractors? Contractor spending could be down 15 percent

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Several people have asked how Microsoft's cost-cutting plans will affect the thousands of contractors who work for the company doing everything from staffing reception desks to testing software. As early as December, we knew that Microsoft was cutting short some contracts.

"We have plans to significantly reduce our vendor and contingent staff expenses," Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell told Wall Street analysts on a conference call this morning.

The company will not put a specific number -- in terms of people -- on the contractor cuts and it rarely discloses the number of contractors it uses. A spokeswoman declined to do so today.

Liddell did say he expects spending on contractors to decrease about 15 percent.

"External contractors, we think about more in terms of the dollars that we spend overall. That's on top of the numbers we're talking about, and that could be down up to 15 percent," he said.

More coverage of Microsoft's cost-cutting

Microsoft laying off 1,400 today, up to 5,000 in next 18 months

Ballmer's e-mail to employees
Majority of cuts to be in Redmond; total reduction is roughly 3 percent
Attention turns to what groups will see cuts
Gregoire calls layoffs "disheartening"

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