The economic pain continues, with Microsoft cutting up to 5000 jobs over the next 18 months – including 1400 immediately.

One of the world’s biggest and most recognised brands blames the slowing economy and “weak spending on technology” on the job losses, which don’t seem to have affected the company’s arch-rival, Apple.

A Microsoft spokesperson says that the jobs cuts were among various steps to manage costs that include reducing ‘headcount-related expenses’, vendors and contingent staff, facilities, capital expenditures and marketing.

The company indicates that the jobs lost will come from various departments, including research and development, marketing, sales, finance, legal, HR and IT.

“While we are not immune to the effects of the economy, I am confident in the strength of our product portfolio and soundness of our approach,” asserts Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer.

“We will continue to manage expenses and invest in long-term opportunities to deliver value to customers and shareholders, and we will emerge an even stronger industry leader than we are today.”

The release of the company’s results for the second quarter of its fiscal year revealed a net profit decease of 11% from a year ago to US$4.17 billion (AUS$6.28 billion) on revenue of US$16.63 billion (AUS$25.05 billion) – a two per cent increase over a year ago.