In just the next few days, Microsoft could make its biggest round of job cuts in five years. The company is reportedly set to announce a five to ten percent reduction in its workforce.

This round of layoffs is not likely due to a slumping economy or a lack of sales of Microsoft products, but restructuring, said KING 5 Tech Expert Brian M. Westbrook. They're building the company away from things like Office and Windows products and into phones and mobile devices.

Westbrook says the cuts come as no surprise to Microsoft workers, who have been told ever since the company acquired Nokia last year, that workforce reductions would be coming. Microsoft is expected to eliminate jobs in areas that overlap with Nokia, like market, software testing, and engineering.

Early indicators are that the five to ten percent staff reduction could impact as many as 12,000 employees.

Westbrook says the employees he's heard from are nervous, as they wait to hear whether their jobs are impacted. At the same time, he says, there are plenty of other opportunities out there in this industry, especially in a city like Seattle.

Whenever you lose a job from a big tech giant it can be very disheartening, but it can also be a great opportunity. We've seen a lot of individuals that maybe have lost a job or left a big company and then start companies on their own, he said. Like small business start-ups, tech companies, app developers, all sorts of different companies that sort of play out of that.

He says that's the silver lining in a situation like this one.

The ricochet impact of large job cuts at Microsoft could also impact companies in the Seattle area that do contract work with Microsoft.

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