Microsoft laying off thousands of workers

Shake-up aimed at selling more subscriptions to software applications

FILE - This July 3, 2014, file photo shows the Microsoft Corp. logo outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash. In a ruling released Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, a federal judge declined to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Microsoft that claims a law that prohibits technology companies from telling customers when the government demands their electronic data is unconstitutional. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — Microsoft is laying off thousands of employees in a shake-up aimed at selling more subscriptions to software applications that can be used on any internet-connected device.

Most of the people losing their jobs work in sales and are located outside the U.S. The Redmond, Washington, company confirmed that it began sending the layoff notices Thursday, but declined to provide further specifics except that thousands of sales jobs will be cut.

Microsoft Corp. employs about 121,500 people worldwide.

The cuts are part of Microsoft’s shift away from its traditional approach of licensing its Office software and other programs for a one-time fee tied to a single computer. The company is now concentrating on selling recurring subscriptions for software accessible on multiple devices, a rapidly growing trend known as “cloud computing.”