07/17/2014 08:43 EDT | Updated 09/16/2014 05:59 EDT

Microsoft to cut 18,000 jobs over the next year

Software giant Microsoft plans to lay off up to 18,000 workers around the world over the next year, mostly related to the company's purchase of handset maker Nokia last year.

The company made the announcement in a press release early Thursday, saying that of the total, about 12,500 professional and factory positions will be eliminated through synergies.

The cuts represent abotu 15 per cent of the company's global work force. It's the largest single layoff announcement in Microsoft's history.

It's not yet known how many Canadian employees might be affected.

Most of the cuts will happen by the end of this calendar year, but all will be finalized by June 2015.

The company expects to pay out $750 million to $800 million for severance and related benefit costs linked to the layoffs.

More to come