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Microsoft transfers his developpment centers to Canada

 
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Hi all,

Yes, I know, provocative tittle, but it is exactly the political message Microsoft is sending to congress and US public opinion : Microsoft Looks to Canada to Avoid U.S. Immigration Restrictions.

Of course there must be some part of propaganda, but while Microsoft complained restrictions were harming it so much it could transfer his workforce where labor is available, it is the first time it puts its threat to execution.

Some say in reality this new developpment center aims local Canadian market in reality. But anyway whether fair or foul this is a major strike in US immigration saga. Such a giant major actor as Microsoft officially transfering part of his labor abroad because of restrictive skilled immigration will have a major political impact anyway.

Best regards.
 
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It is just another Bill Gates gimmick . Why are other companies like sun ,oracle or Google not taking similar steps if there is lack of skilled pros.
 
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I doubt that it's going to have a major impact on anything. 1000 people isn't much for a company of Microsoft's size, and they already have development centers around the world; one more isn't going to make a big difference. What's more, it's also a way to recruit people who prefer living in Canada to living in the USA. Canada is a pretty nice place to live, after all
[ July 09, 2007: Message edited by: Ulf Dittmer ]
 
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Very provocative title Eric, just not very accurate.

Microsoft are not transferring any development centers to Canada. Nor are they talking about closing any of the existing development centers anywhere else in the world (that I am aware of).

What Microsoft are doing, is opening a brand new development center in Canada. Initially it will have 200 staff, but once again we have no knowledge on what that means: whether it will be 200 staff transferred out of USA, or whether it will be 200 staff transferred out of India, or a mix of staff transferred from around the world, or some transfers and some new hires ...

Likewise we have no insight from that article as to what happens to the jobs vacated by those who do transfer. I would expect that their positions would not be made redundant, rather they are more likely to be filled by those people who do not have the "immigration restrictions" alluded to.

Originally posted by Shipra Verma:
It is just another Bill Gates gimmick . Why are other companies like sun ,oracle or Google not taking similar steps if there is lack of skilled pros.



What makes you think that other companies do not do the same thing?

Oracle has development centers in at least China, India, New Zealand, Columbia, Brazil, Australia, Great Britain, Argentina, Venezuela, Scandinavia, Spain, Peru, Mexico ...

Google has development centers in at least China, India, Israel, Japan, and many more.

Regards, Andrew
 
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Hi Andrew,

What Microsoft are doing, is opening a brand new development center in Canada. Initially it will have 200 staff, but once again we have no knowledge on what that means: whether it will be 200 staff transferred out of USA, or whether it will be 200 staff transferred out of India, or a mix of staff transferred from around the world, or some transfers and some new hires ...
Likewise we have no insight from that article as to what happens to the jobs vacated by those who do transfer. I would expect that their positions would not be made redundant, rather they are more likely to be filled by those people who do not have the "immigration restrictions" alluded to.


I assume this, this is why I stated "political message" and "propaganda" myself in my post.

But this time, I feel something is different. Even Microsoft cannot do anything when it comes to US labor visa regulations, they have to take them as broken as they are or leave them. In fact by oppening a parallel development center in Canada, Microsoft sate that they have LOST their lobbyist labor immigration battle for H1B overhaul. IMHO, without attempt to offense anybody, british part of Canada (I mean not quebec) is strictly equivalent to USA for language and way of live, so a Canadian development center is an ideal candidate to replace a US development center sooner or later.

As I understand it they will still hire some very few brilliant US or GC people when some if any are available (IT shortage motto of course) for existing US center, but they will hire as many people they want through Canada, so US development center will soon stagnate or regress. They will surely try to transfer as many people as possible from US to Canada (Canada is a better place to live [6th] than US [8th] according to Most and Least Livable Countries 2006, and US people still can get back to USA whenever they want). And when there are enough people in Canada, US center could simply be closed as redundant.

In fact the big question is : do US companies REALLY need skilled aliens or not ? If they do, then they will have to create cheap subsidiaries abroad where skills are, still being able to sponsor them for L1 visa after 1 year. This practically means opening subsidiaries in Ireland (lowest taxes in whole Europe), since many skills remain available in Europe and Europeans are allowed to work in any other European country, hence Ireland. So if many US subsidiaries are opened in Ireland next year, this question will have an answer.

Anyway now that H1B has become practicaly unmanageable for any sensible US company (pay an alien 6 months before he is allowed to go to US through H1B, supposing he is selected by new H1B lottery), US companies willing for any reason to hire an alien will have to pay dearly for it. It might force them to take what is locally available in US, but if skills are not present in reality it will force them to ourtsource, at a much greater social cost both for them and USA than having them through H1B.

I bet US companies simply won't use H1B any longer (it is the case for a brilliant US company I know), now that it has become very expensive and pure chance (lottery). Probably future H1B users will be bodyshoppers only because costly regulations won't affect them : they don't respect regulations. We will see next year whether or not all H1B asking companies are bodyshoppers or not.

Best regards.
 
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Posted By Andrew :

What makes you think that other companies do not do the same thing?

Oracle has development centers in at least China, India, New Zealand, Columbia, Brazil, Australia, Great Britain, Argentina, Venezuela, Scandinavia, Spain, Peru, Mexico ...

Google has development centers in at least China, India, Israel, Japan, and many more.



Andrew,

I agree with your thoughts and that is what the reality. But in US, many lawyers also highlight this fact while advising for changing current green card system.
[ July 19, 2007: Message edited by: Jignesh Patel ]
 
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