Research & development
Microsoft to open software R&D centre
Frustrated by Washington’s rigid
stance on immigration and bringing skilled software engineers into the
country, Microsoft Corp. intends to open a new research and development
centre in the Vancouver area this fall.
The Microsoft Canada Development Centre will serve as a base for the
company’s core business —- software development.
When the company opens its doors, likely in September, it plans to hire
between 200 and 300 people from around the world. The development centre
could eventually employ as many as 1,000, according to a report in the
Globe and Mail newspaper.
“It is about recruiting the best and brightest, and right now, the
majority are coming from overseas,” Marc Seaman, a spokesman for
Microsoft Canada, told the publication.
“The U.S. has immigration quotas and some limitations for bringing in
people from outside the country,” he said. “That challenge is an
opportunity for Canada, in the sense that this will bring the top
software developers to Canada.”
Mr. Seaman noted, however, that Canada is already the third-largest
source of Microsoft recruits, after India and Japan.
Microsoft, founded by billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, is the
world’s largest software company. The company is based in Redmond,
Wash., outside of Seattle. The proximity to the Vancouver area is one
reason why it was chosen, along with its reputation as global gateway,
its diverse population, solid infrastructure and high quality of life,
Mr. Seaman said.
The company is in the process of negotiating a lease for up to 100,000
square feet of space in Richmond, Burnaby or the city of Vancouver. “It
will be in the multi-million per year range,” Mr. Seaman said.
Microsoft said the Vancouver area facility will be one of a handful of
development centres outside the company’s Redmond base. The others are
in North Carolina, Ireland, Denmark and Israel. The company also has
research and development centres in the United Kingdom, India, China and
Silicon Valley. The company’s Canadian operations are headquartered in
Mississauga, Ontario, although it has eight regional offices across the