Wednesday, July 02, 2003

This is kinda, sorta, big news -- Microsoft moves U.S. jobs to India
The reason it is big news is not because yet another couple of thousand jobs will be lost here, but because MSFT does not reallyneed to move jobs anywhere. It is incredibly profitable as a company, and the savings are not really going to add up to anything significant.
It seems that the move is intended to establish Microsoft as a firmer part of the Indian software development market. To make it a "home team" so to speak. Like many developing countries India is increasingly relying on Linux to power its systems, and inserting Microsoft more centrally into its computing landscape can not really hurt.
Another, probably as relevant of a thought is the talent pool. Microsoft, historically, has not been a particularly well-paying company, but it has always insisted on hiring the best and the brightest. For two decades they were able to lure tha talent by stock options that were almost guaranteed to be worth six figures in a couple of years, and seven figures if you stuck around long enough. However, that is not longer the case. Despite suriving the market crash much better than all its rivals, Microsoft cannot rely on options to boost employee compensation. By hiring the best of Indian graduates it can not only pay a fraction of the US cost, but leverage its prestige in attracting talent in a relatively level playing field.
Good move business-wise, methinks.


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