Up to 15,000 Microsoft employees could be starting 2009 looking for work, reports suggest.

Microsoft is planning to announce what's being described as its first widescale layoff in its 32-year history.

Up to 15,000 staff are under threat of redundancies, according to Fudzilla, a tech blog that stated employees had been told that the firm was "readying major layoffs to its worldwide operations" on 15 January.

Other reports put the estimates between 10 and 17% of the company's 91,000 employees with MSN staff said to be most at risk.

Still just rumours at this stage, we'll bring you more when we have it.