In a move tout of the hardware business, Microsoft confirmed it will cut up to 18,000 jobs over the next year, part of the tech Company’s efforts to streamline its business under new CEO Satya Nadella. In a statement released last Thursday, Microsoft says about 12,500 of the professional and factory positions will be cut as part of its $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s handset business. “My promise to you is that we will go through this process in the most thoughtful and transparent way possible,” said Nadella in a memo to employees. Nadella, who replaced Steve Ballmer in February, says the “vast majority” of employees affected by layoffs will be notified within the next six months. They will also earn severance and job transition help in many locations. All cuts will be completed by next June. The layoffs by Microsoft – which employs 125,000 people – are the company’s largest ever. The acquisition of Nokia’s handset business in April added 25,000 people to Microsoft’s payroll.