Microsoft Furlough's 1,000 Contractors?

May 23, 2006
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Url: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12921149/

According to this MSNBC article,

“Microsoft Corp. has told about 1,000 technology contract workers to take seven days off the job, without Microsoft pay, in a cost-saving movethat came as the company unveiled a series of new perks for its internal staff.”

Cost-cutting move?  Huh? I wonder what the real story is.  Also, I wonder why they have so many contractors to begin with.  Maybe to fill in while they try and hire on (since they always seem to be hiring tons of programmers).  Anyone have any information on this?