The announcement - the first job cuts in the company's 18-year history - came after disappointing results due to the economic downturn. Microsoft said its revenues in the second quarter grew just 2 per cent from a year before, to $16.6bn, lower than the $17.1bn that Wall Street had been expecting.
In a press conference announcing the cuts, Microsoft CEO Steve 'Monkey Boy' Ballmer hung from a tyre swing as he told journalists, "basically, not enough people are buying Vista. I mean, I know it's a pointless, buggy, overpriced, resource-intensive pile of expensive eye-candy, but in the absence of any innovation since Windows 3.1 we have to compete with Apple somehow".
Pausing to hurl a chair at a techie in a Google t-shirt, Ballmer added that the bulk of the 5,000 losses would be in the Security Coding teams, saying, "firstly, Windows is secure enough already. All you need is Antivirus, a third-party firewall, Firefox, Spybot and Ad-Aware. So the security team's not required. Plus, they're all in Europe so it'll get the bastard EU for complaining about IE again".
It had initially been assumed that the bulk of the job losses would be in Microsoft's Quality Assurance department - however a recent survey showed that Microsoft hasn't had a QA team since DOS 5 was released.
The restructuring of Microsoft will leave the software giant with 91,000 employees; 90,000 Intellectual Property lawyers, 991 Redmond security guards, Steve Ballmer, seven full-time coders and a dog called Fred who handles technical support.