Microsoft Corp has dropped an attempt to recoup some severance money from 25 recently fired workers it mistakenly overpaid.

The Redmond, Washington-based company, which announced a plan to cut up to 5,000 jobs in January, acknowledged on Sunday that it had tried to get the overpaid workers to return the extra money. But late on Monday, it reversed course.

This was a mistake on our part, said a Microsoft spokesman in an e-mailed statement. We should have handled this situation in a more thoughtful manner.

Microsoft is reaching out to those impacted to relay that we will not seek any payment from those individuals, according to the statement.

The company did not say what caused the original error in severance payments, or what the amounts involved were.

The world's largest software maker, feeling the downturn in corporate and consumer spending, laid off 1,400 workers last month, the first of the up to 5,000 jobs it plans to cut over the next 18 months.

(Editing by Bernard Orr)