Software giant Microsoft Corp. plans to hire more than 1,000 employees to boost its existing staff strength in China over the coming year. This expansion is an attempt by Microsoft to ramp up its research and development (R&D) efforts in the country, to better compete with Apple Inc. and Google Inc. in China’s fast-growing mobile Internet market.
Microsoft said that the new employees would be spread across its R&D and marketing segments and customer service. Currently, the company spends around $500 million annually on research and development work in China. It plans to boost its R&D spend by 15% over the same time period. Additionally, Microsoft is building a large cloud computing center in Shanghai that will employ around 600 more employees.
Microsoft’s so-called "go big" strategy for China, includes hiring 1,000 additional employees over the fiscal year, that will work in research, enterprise services, and support for the company. Currently the company has about 4,500 employees in the country.
The company also plans to increase its research and development investment in China next year, bringing it up by 15 percent from the current annual amount of US$500 million.
As part of the overall strategy, the company will expand its presence in 15 provinces and 20 cities in China by bolstering its staff and management and working with local government offices.
The investment is expected to help promote Microsoft’s cloud offerings — including Windows Azure, Office 365, and Windows Server 2012 — in China. It will also help as the company prepares for the upcoming release of Windows 8 and Microsoft Office 2013.
Janet Ong at Bloomberg News reports that Microsoft will add 1,000 engineers in China to the 3,000 it already employs there. About 10% will be in research and the remainder in product development. No word on which products.
Reuters observes that Microsoft’s current total employment in China is 5,000 and Todd Bishop notes that Microsoft currently has 35,000 employees in the Redmond area. No word yet from the labor union trying to organize Microsoft employees and temps, but I’m sure they will have something to say.
The death of popular local film actor Rajkumar on Wednesday threw India’s IT hub Bangalore into disarray as fans went on a rampage, demanding that shops and other establishments close as a mark of mourning for the 78-year-old star.
The facility of Microsoft Research Lab India Pvt. Ltd. was stoned Wednesday evening by fans of the actor, according to a lab spokeswoman.
Expecting more unrest, a number of IT companies have declared today, when the actor’s funeral is scheduled, a day off for their staff.
Microsoft was among those closing according to Reuters:
Leading IT companies – including Wipro, iGATE and Infosys, India’s second-largest software company, along with multinationals Microsoft, Dell Inc and IBM – said they would stay closed today.
“Most companies are forced to close. Nobody wants to take a chance,” an official at a multinational firm said on the condition that that the person and company not be named.
More details by following the links, but the death toll is up to five.
Microsoft’s offshoring efforts continue apace as Barkha Shah reports at the Business Standard:
Microsoft India Development Centre (MIDC) is singularly working on developing the second version (V2) of its disk-based back-up product, Data Protection Manager (DPM).
The first version of the product (DPM V1) was a collaborative effort between the Hyderabad and Redmond centres of the $39.79 billion software behemoth.
According to Srini Koppolu, managing director of MIDC:
The 1,000-people strong centre has almost grown 10-fold in the last four years.
MIDC has worked on adding features like remote access, digital imaging and the likes for Windows Vista too. “While we work on adding features to Microsoft’s products, we have also successfully set up core centres of excellence (CoE) on radio frequency identification (RFID) and data protection,” he added.
DPM V2 is likely to be released in the second half of 2007. Meanwhile, the RFID platform technologies (completely done out of MIDC) will be released by the end of 2006 or early 2007. MIDC is also working on developer and platform offerings for mobile devices.