Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Business / Technology


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

E-mail Sharon| RSS feeds Subscribe | Blog Home| Brier Dudley's Blog

June 22, 2009 10:40 AM

"Microsoft subsidy bill" passes in WA state for children of H-1B visa holders

Posted by Sharon Chan

My Seattle Times colleague Lornet Turnbull wrote a story today about a "Microsoft subsidy bill" that the Washington state legislature passed granting in-state tuition rates for children of foreign professionals.

It was dubbed the Microsoft subsidy bill because most of the beneficiaries are children of Microsoft workers who came to Washington state under H-1B visas.

According to the story, the bill was passed during the state budget crisis, while higher education suffered hundreds of millions in cuts, and is projected to result in revenue loss to the University of Washington of $430,000 and to Washington State University of $215,000.

Click here for the full story.

Comments | Category: Employees , India , Legal issues , Microsoft , Public policy & issues , Recruiting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 17, 2009 11:08 AM

Computer science enrollment rebounds nationally and at UW

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

After reading yesterday's New York Times report on increasing enrollment in the nation's computer science programs, I pinged Ed Lazowska at the University of Washington to see what's happening there.

"Our numbers are in fact much stronger than the national numbers," he said via e-mail, introducing the chart below, which plots rolling enrollment in the UW's introductory computer science course over the last four and a half years. (Incidentally, the data was compiled earlier this year at the request of Google.)

UWCSE enrollment.JPG

Lazowska added this perspective on the UW's undergraduate programs:

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Employees , Public policy & issues , Recruiting , Tech Economy |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 2, 2009 6:27 AM

Study: High-skilled Indian and Chinese immigrants returning home are young, well-educated

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

New research sheds light on the reasons high-skilled Chinese and Indian workers are returning to their home countries. The researchers cite anecdotal evidence that suggests immigrants are returning home in greater numbers.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: China , Coming and going , Education , India , Public policy & issues , Recruiting , Tech Economy |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

February 20, 2009 4:43 PM

Microsoft employment increased slightly in January; layoffs to be reflected in later figures

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft released local and worldwide employment figures for January, showing that it brought hiring to a near-halt last month as it announced companywide layoffs for the first time.

Worldwide, Microsoft added 115 employees in January, bringing its global full-time work force to 95,943. That's an increase of about one-tenth of a percent from Dec. 31.

The majority of the staff it brought on -- 75 people -- were in the Puget Sound region, where it had 41,555 at the end of January, up about two-tenths of a percent.

The figures don't reflect the layoffs Microsoft announced Jan. 23. The company notified 1,400 people that day, 872 of them in the Puget Sound area. Many were given 60-days notice, so the layoffs will likely show up in March figures. The company also announced plans last month to trim up to another 3,600 positions over 18 months, while also hiring 2,000 to 3,000 people in specific areas.

And, in fact, the company has continued to post job openings on its career site.

Comments | Category: Microsoft layoffs , Recruiting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

February 2, 2009 6:12 AM

Microsoft lobbied Obama transition team on high-skilled immigration weeks before announcing layoffs

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft urged the government to "remove caps that bar entry into the U.S. by high-skilled immigrants," about three weeks before announcing its first companywide layoff, according to a report in BusinessWeek.

The request, part of a policy brief written in June 2008 and posted to the Obama-Biden Transition Project Web site in early January, does not represent a new stance for the company, which has long lobbied for changes in U.S. immigration policy around high-skilled workers. But its posting on the new administration's transition Web site came at a sensitive time, against the backdrop of layoffs -- which hit a "significant number" of guest workers at the company -- and pressure on Microsoft by Sen. Chuck Grassley to retain U.S. citizens over similarly qualified guest workers.

The Obama Administration's transition Web site is no longer active, but here's a PDF (2 pages) of the brief, which also asks for changes in the student visa policy to encourage foreign students educated here to stay and an increase in green cards.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Microsoft layoffs , Public policy & issues , Recruiting , Tech Economy |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

January 29, 2009 5:18 PM

Microsoft has posted 72 job openings in Washington since layoffs announced

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

A week ago, Microsoft announced its first companywide layoff, letting go 1,400 people as part of a plan to cut up to 5,000 jobs in the next 18 months. But the company made clear it would continue hiring, perhaps 2,000 to 3,000 people, in strategically important areas. And judging by its U.S. online jobs site, it intends to. A search of the site for positions in Washington state brought back 72 openings posted since Jan. 22, the day the layoffs were announced.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Advertising , Coming and going , Google , Halo , MSN , Microsoft layoffs , Mobile , Online services , Recruiting , Search |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

December 29, 2008 10:25 AM

Catching up: Microsoft layoff rumors

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Mini-Microsoft has drawn an ominous red circle on his calendar around Jan. 15. That day, the anonymous, unsanctioned company blogger suspects, could bring news of a substantial round of layoffs at Microsoft. While his post of last week (just after I stepped out for vacation) is clearly labeled as rumor, even the thought of cuts at one of the region's biggest (and heretofore most stable) employers can only send shivers down the spine of Seattle's cold and wet economy.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Recruiting , Strategy , Tech Economy |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

December 18, 2008 10:30 AM

Microsoft named top U.S. company for community investment in survey of peers

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft has been recognized by a survey of major corporations as doing the best job of investing in its community. The survey was part of a study published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

The study was presented with a broader report on the relationship between business and their communities. Seattle was one of eight cities where the report held forums with business leaders, providing a not-too-surprising list of threats to innovation: education, "the Seattle process," and transportation. Read on for more details.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Education , Philanthropy , Public policy & issues , Recruiting , Tech Economy |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

December 10, 2008 7:39 AM

Profile: Qi Lu, Microsoft's incoming Online Services Group president

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Check out this profile of Qi Lu, the former Yahoo search executive who is taking over a critical group at Microsoft in January, from today's paper. Also, after the jump, Microsoft has published its own Q&A with Lu, covering his reasons for coming to Microsoft, how Steve Ballmer recruited him, what opportunities he sees for Microsoft in search and more.

If Microsoft has to climb over or through Yahoo to get to Google in the Internet search business, there are few people better positioned than Qi Lu to lead the way.

Named last week as president of Microsoft's Online Services Group, Lu brings with him practically the entire history of Yahoo's search efforts.

"Qi was there from the very beginning," said a former Yahoo colleague who worked closely with him for several years and agreed to speak about Lu and his role at Yahoo only on condition of anonymity.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Coming and going , Google , Personalities , Recruiting , Search , Yahoo |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

December 9, 2008 10:08 AM

Report: Big Yahoo layoff coming Wednesday

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Fishbowl Los Angeles reports that up to 1,500 Yahoo employees will be cut tomorrow, according to an employee who read an internal e-mail from Yahoo's co-founder and lame duck CEO Jerry Yang.

(Note, this paragraph was lopped off an earlier version this post.)

Microsoft has been vacuuming up Yahoo talent -- particularly in search and most notably with the plucking of Qi Lu -- and is eager to do more.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Coming and going , Recruiting , Yahoo |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

December 6, 2008 12:58 PM

Hiring of new Microsoft exec Qi Lu strikes diversity chord

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano


MICROSOFT

Qi Lu, highest ranking Chinese American in Microsoft history.

Here's a story from today's paper with more reaction to the news this week that Microsoft has filled a strategically critical leadership role:
Chinese Americans at Microsoft and in the community cheered the appointment of Qi Lu as president of the company's Online Services Group, noting the significance of his arrival at the highest ranks of the company.


"When people look at their own career potential in a company, they always look at if there is someone like them in the senior leadership team," said Weina Wang, chairwoman of Chinese Microsoft Employees (CHIME), the largest company-sponsored diversity group, with 2,500 members. "And I think Lu's joining Microsoft is definitely a huge encouragement, from a career-development perspective, for all the Chinese and Asian employees."

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Coming and going , Corporate culture , Personalities , Public policy & issues , Recruiting , Search , Yahoo |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

November 19, 2008 8:31 AM

Microsoft shareholder meeting: Ballmer expects much slower hiring this year and next

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, speaking at the company's annual shareholder meeting in Bellevue this morning, said the economic downturn will certainly have an impact on the company's business.

The company is looking at every aspect of its business for opportunities to reduce costs; utilize resources more efficiently, and "much, much slower growth, particular in headcount, for the remainder of this financial year and, I suspect into the next financial year," Ballmer said.

Comments | Category: Recruiting , Steve Ballmer |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

November 12, 2008 6:20 PM

Avanade recruits former Microsoft exec as top recruiter

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Avanade, the Seattle-based global IT consulting firm formed in 2000 by Accenture and Microsoft, has hired Rob McIntosh as "senior vice president of global talent acquisition," the company said today. He was previously in recruiting with Deloitte and prior to that led national recruiting for Microsoft Canada.

Comments | Category: Coming and going , Recruiting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

October 6, 2008 6:30 AM

Microsoft and the global financial crisis

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Brier Dudley's column this morning on Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in Europe neatly ties up several big issues from the company's ongoing attempt to escape the antitrust shadow to the global financial crisis. Dudley writes:

"Ballmer went to Europe last week for many reasons, mostly to drum up business, apparently.


"But consider the backdrop and the tone of his announcements.

"Like the U.S., Europe is hurting, and Ballmer came across as the Henry Paulson of the tech industry, promising big investments bringing stability, growth and jobs."

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Public policy & issues , Recruiting , Steve Ballmer , Tech Economy |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

October 1, 2008 7:30 AM

Update: Microsoft campus expansion on track as employment growth continues; campus sports bar confirmed

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Driven out Highway 520 lately? That big cluster of buildings running west of the freeway to 148th Avenue Northeast and along Northeast 40th Street, they weren't there a year ago.

That's Microsoft's huge west campus expansion, announced in early 2006, taking shape. The growth spurt, laid out in what the company thought would be a 15- to 20-year plan, is on schedule for completion next year.

The cluster of nature-themed buildings meant to house Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division have been built over a huge underground parking garage, five levels deep. Microsoft spokesman Lou Gellos said the garage will be ready for cars in February. The first new building is on track for occupancy in March 2009, with the last one scheduled for July 2009.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Employee benefits , Real estate and facilities , Recruiting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

September 25, 2008 10:02 AM

Microsoft lauded as great place for working moms

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Working Mother magazine named Microsoft to its 100 Best Companies list for 2008, citing 20 weeks of job-guaranteed time off for new parents (by birth or adoption), among other family-friendly benefits. It was the sixth appearance on the list for the Redmond company.

The magazine notes that among the companies on its list, more than half increased benefits, despite the economic downturn.

Update, 5:05 p.m.: A Microsoft spokeswoman noted that Working Mother had a few things a bit wrong about the company's benefits. Here's the correct info: "Microsoft offers 20 weeks of job-guaranteed time off for new parents only. [Also] birth mothers receive 8 weeks maternity leave, and 12 weeks parental leave (20 job-guaranteed weeks off), and fathers and adoptive parents receive 12 job-guaranteed weeks off."

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Corporate culture , Employee benefits , Recruiting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 18, 2008 9:01 PM

Four Microsofties make Technology Review's list of 35 under 35

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

MIT's Technology Review, the world's oldest tech magazine, has named four Microsoft employees to its "annual list of 35 outstanding men and women under the age of 35 who exemplify the spirit of innovation in business and technology." Only Harvard and its affiliates had more people on the TR35.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Microsoft , Natural user interface , Personalities , Recruiting , Research |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

June 23, 2008 11:24 AM

Yahoo resignation letter creator could come in handy as reorg looms

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

The week is under way and another batch of Yahoo reorg rumors is fresh out of the oven. A friend shared with us something diverting among all the doom and gloom.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Recruiting , Yahoo |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

June 20, 2008 12:17 PM

Microsoft head count way up in last 11 months, nearing 90,000

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft is now a company of close to 90,000 people and may, in fact, surpass that number by the time the fiscal year ends June 30.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Microsoft , Recruiting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

June 18, 2008 11:18 AM

Attention departing Yahoos: Microsoft is hiring in Silicon Valley

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

With some high-profile executive departures from Yahoo in the wake of its tie-up with Google, Microsoft is launching a recruiting push in Silicon Valley.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Microsoft , Recruiting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 1, 2008 12:06 PM

Manager in Microsoft Windows Live jumping to online classifieds startup Oodle

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Kevin Doerr, a Microsoft general manager in Windows Live, is leaving for a San Mateo, Calif., classified advertising startup called Oodle.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Advertising , Digital media , Microsoft , Online services , Recruiting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

April 14, 2008 10:30 PM

More on Microsoft's new South Lake Union 'Touchdown Space' for employees

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

The Microsoft employees trying out the company's new "Touchdown Space" in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood on Monday were impressed with the design and seemed genuinely pleased at what it could mean for their work-life balance.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Microsoft , Real estate and facilities , Recruiting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

April 9, 2008 11:56 AM

Microsoft to expand 'Connector' employee shuttle-bus service

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano


MIKE SIEGEL / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Microsoft is more than doubling its new regional employee shuttle service.

Microsoft launched a free shuttle service taking employees from around the region to its Redmond campus last fall. The program has been a success, the company said today, and it will more than double later this spring.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Microsoft , Public policy & issues , Recruiting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

April 2, 2008 4:15 PM

Updated analysis: Microsoft employees spending less on company stock

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Readers more familiar with Microsoft's Employee Stock Purchase Program than I am pointed out a better way to evaluate the data the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this week. I wrote that Microsoft employees, per capita, bought fewer shares of stock through the program in each of the past two years.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Financial , Microsoft , Recruiting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 31, 2008 3:42 PM

Microsoft employees buying fewer shares of company stock

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Today is one of four days each year that Microsoft employees can buy company stock at 90 percent of its fair-market value as part of the company's employee stock purchase plan. A report filed today on that plan shows that Microsofties have purchased fewer shares of company stock through the program per capita in each of the past two years.

(Update, Wednesday afternoon:
Note this post responding to readers who suggested a better way to evaluate the figures reported here.)

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Financial , Microsoft , Recruiting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 26, 2008 10:00 AM

Adobe/Macromedia vet and former NPD analyst Swenson joining Microsoft

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Yet another Adobe/Macromedia veteran is joining the Microsoft team doing battle with the design and online applications giant.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Adobe , Microsoft , Recruiting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 11, 2008 1:50 PM

Mr. Gates goes to Washington as Microsoft gets more H-1Bs than any U.S. tech

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is scheduled to testify before the House Committee on Science and Technology Wednesday morning in what is likely his last appearance on Capitol Hill as a full-timer at the company he co-founded.


DENNIS COOK / AP

Bill Gates, right, talks to Sen. Edward Kennedy and Sen. Patty Murray in this March 2007 photo.

As he did just more than a year ago, Gates is expected to press Congress on the need to raise the cap on H-1B visas and improve the quality of U.S. high school graduates -- particularly in math and science. (Update, 9:40 a.m., Wednesday: Here's Gates written testimony, a 20-page PDF. Excerpts after the jump.)

BusinessWeek, having reviewed the latest H-1B numbers, reports that "Indian outsourcers accounted for nearly 80 percent of the visa petitions approved last year for the top 10 participants in the program." Only two "traditional U.S. tech companies" are among the top 10 participants. Can you guess who?

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Bill Gates , Microsoft , Recruiting , Tech Economy |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 10, 2008 5:15 PM

Plenty of former Microsoft employees work at Adobe, too

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Mark Anders, a senior principal scientist at Adobe, read my story today about the former Adobe and Macromedia people who now work on competing products at Microsoft and wanted to point out that "the brainpower flows in both directions." I mentioned at the end of the story that Anders -- who is leading work on Thermo, a new tool for designers building rich Internet applications -- came from Microsoft, but there are many more who have followed a similar path. He gave me just a few examples in an email this afternoon.

"I would like to point out that there are a LOT of former Microsoft people here," Anders wrote.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Adobe , Microsoft , Personalities , Recruiting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

January 15, 2008 1:34 PM

Google touts Fremont Engineering office, links to UW

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

A gang of local politicos, venture capitalists, computer science profs and reporters gathered at Google's swank new Fremont engineering office this morning to check the place out. The company is eager to highlight its new digs, which opened in October and now houses close to 100 -- with plenty of room for more.

Tonight, the company is inviting would-be recruits to tour its space in the three-story Waterside Building fronting the ship canal in the Center of the Universe. The space used to be occupied by Getty Images, which has contracted its footprint in the neighborhood in addition to cutting staff. But Fremont -- and really the stretch from there to the University of Washington -- has turned into something of a high-tech strip, with Adobe, Impinj, Telecom Transport Management, the Institute for Systems Biology and the Allen Institute for Brain Science, among others.

Google's events today, along with a big billboard on the Queen Anne side of the Fremont Bridge that looks like a well-used software engineer's white board, appear to be recruiting. Google is aiming to raise its profile as a top destination for engineering talent in the region, and by all accounts, it has been successful, particularly at grabbing graduates from the UW. Brian Bershad, a UW computer science professor, joined Google in October and is director of the Fremont site.

The company's presence in the region now stands at more than 500 broken down like this: 400-plus in the Kirkland Engineering office, opened in October 2004, and is now, maybe, the second-largest Google office outside of Mountain View (New York City might be bigger, they weren't sure); 75-plus in the Fremont Engineering office; 25-plus in the Fremont sales office.

At last count, in September, Google had 15,916 employees spread across 40 engineering sites in 18 countries, and growing. On a tour today, an engineer said, "We seem to be growing at Moore's Law rate. If you look at the company, it's doubling every 18 months now."

Executives touted amenities at the Fremont office and gave a glimpse of working life for a Googler.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Google , Recruiting , Tech Economy |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

Advertising

Marketplace

Advertising

Advertising

Categories
Calendar

June

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        
Browse the archives

June 2009

May 2009

April 2009

March 2009

February 2009

January 2009

From the tech blogosphere