In this photo taken July 3, 2014, a worker walks past a Microsoft Corp. sign outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash. Microsoft on Thursday, July 17, 2014 announced it will lay off up to 18,000 workers over the next year. (AP Photo Ted S. Warren)

Microsoft slashes up to 18,000 jobs

Although the job cuts had been expected, the extent of them was a surprise. Of the job cuts, about 12,500 professional and factory jobs will…