Remember last month when DaniWeb reported how some 1400 jobs were to be lost at Microsoft? These losses forming the first part of a plan to trim costs which would see a total of 5000 Microsofties facing the axe. Well now, in the most bizarre of twists, it seems that the axe is not good enough and some of those laid off workers are feeling the twist of the Microsoft knife as well.

According to letters sent to employees and now published online Microsoft is asking for its money back. Well, some of its money back at any rate. At present there are no firm numbers on how many people have been paid too much severance by Microsoft or how many letters have gone out, beyond "we’ve confirmed that it wasn’t a single isolated incident."

The letters, with monetary amounts removed, read:

"This letter is to inform you that an inadvertant administrative error occured that resulted in an overpayment of severance pay by Microsoft. We ask that you repay the overpayment and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience to you. The overpayment occured on February 13, 2009 payroll in a Gross overpayment of $[deleted] (Gross amount). The Net (after-tax) amount you owe back to Microsoft is $[deleted]. We request that you follow these repayment instructions: please make your check or money order payable to "Microsoft Corporation" within fourteen (14) days for the full $[deleted] (Net) amount identified above and mail it to..."

However, the eagle eyed amongst you may notice that the language is rather timid and not the usual legal assassin stuff which demands immediate repayment. Instead, it would appear, that Microsoft is rather embarrassed and so simply 'asks, requests and apologises.'

As our friends over at The Inquirer point out "If it was us they'd have to tear it out of our cold, dead hands."