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MS Moves R&D To Canada Due To Immigration Problem

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the not-enough-brainpower dept.

Microsoft 765

telso writes "Microsoft will be opening a new software development center in Vancouver because of difficulties getting workers into the US. The company said the center will 'allow the company to continue to recruit and retain highly skilled people affected by the immigration issues in the US' It seems possible that shrinking immigration quotas have affected America's tax and knowledge base."

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765 comments

I call BS (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760099)

(And I hate that phrase.)

There is no shortage of programmers or software engineers in the U.S.; there is a shortage of people who are interested in being paid next to nothing.

Re:I call BS (2, Interesting)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760185)

Same here. I would much more expect they made a deal with the canadians to boycott the Open Document format if they agreed to build a Billmart in vancouver. Either that or it's related to lobbyists somehow.

Re:I call BS (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760397)

I agree. US wages, in most kinds of jobs, are kept artificially low by the flood of immigrants.

Political BS (1, Flamebait)

mollog (841386) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760479)

I remember when a local company, Boise Cascade, was blaming environmentalists for their inability to find wood to cut. This was announced on page one of the Idaho Statesman newspaper. On page 6 was an article about them selling sections of timberland to Georgia Pacific.

In short, it was politically motivated bullcrap. The corporate culture takes another swipe at the American working class, while they game the system.

Don't you mean... (0, Troll)

nonsequitor (893813) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760311)

I call H1-BS.

I wonder if the democrat controlled congress has anything to do with this? I know Microsoft and others are constantly lobbying to import more slaves^H^H^H^H^H^H H1-B visa workers to get around paying the wages necessary for skilled domestic labor.

Re:I call BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760431)

... Microsoft does _not_ pay next to nothing. They pay very well and have amazing benefits.

Re:I call BS (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760473)

"There is no shortage of programmers or software engineers in the U.S.; there is a shortage of people who are interested in being paid next to nothing" - by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 05, @06:43PM (#19760099)

I agree, & call "B.S." alongside you... needless to say, this time? Microsoft has actually pissed me off some (& they wrote me to take the word "Windows" out of some wares I wrote years ago for the shareware/freeware circuit no less, & that meant recompiling for resources (.exe's are where I do this, but I ought to consider it in .DLL's for easier updates) & taking my time to do it, to avoid a legal confrontation with they (this did NOT tick me off as bad as hearing this though)...

Why am I pissed off? Because I make less now, than I did back in 1999-2000 & beforehand, per year (I live in the 12th worst city economically there in in the U.S.A., & with that comes nearest the highest amount in violent crime as well along for the ride), & the poster I am replying to has it right... wtf is wrong with our businesses & more importantly, our gov't.??

You take our jobs, GOOD PAYING JOBS, not "hand-to-mouth" ones (plenty of those abound, minimum wage or near to it ones literally) that just keep you in a subsistence form of living?

Who the heck will have the 'disposable income' for the VISTA OS, & a new PC (or other things of larger values, all the way up to automobiles & homes, typically the second largest & largest purchase most folks ever typically make)?

I mean, Ronald Reagan the republican hit the air-traffic controllers unions HARD decades ago, & why don't these republicans in office now, do the same to ANY business that outsources? Sure, let them have their "laissez faire" & all that, but TAX THE SHIT OUT OF THEM for it, absorbing ANY gains made & then hit them with fines for doing it ontop of that... it'd discourage outsourcing for sure.

BUT, the fact remains, that it is TRULY now, "Corporate America" & our unalienable rights are being subverted such as free speech (what with all this "political correctness" bullshit) & if you protest against this war built on LIES (saying there were WMD's, & none were found, & THEN TRYING TO "OLLIE NORTH" the CIA, who only provides information, it is up to our leaders to have it TRIPLE verified, if not more, before acting on it)?

They surveil your home, your phone, etc. for using one of your inalienable rights, to freedom of speech, & terrorize us into silence via "homeland security" bullshit. Think I am kidding? Take a look:

http://foi.missouri.edu/firstamendment/protesting. html [missouri.edu] ... & it's NOT isolated to JUST Atlanta, Ga. U.S.A. either...

No, the world's fucked up, & our gov't. is @ the helm of it... helping things just "death spiral" more, imo!

A sad APK

Re:I call BS (5, Insightful)

rovingeyes (575063) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760481)

We need a "Naive" moderation in the list. Stop being naive and accept the fact that you are never going to get paid like you did in 99. Why the fuck would any corporation think of your welfare? Whenever I see a post related to H1B or outsourcing, I see gazillion comments complaining how they are looking for cheap labor. Of course they are! Fuck, even in a socialist country (if there are any) they'd be looking for cheap labor. If you don't like it, form your own Microsoft and pay all the American citizens hefty amounts and don't hire any foreigners. Until then, go back to your dungeon and shut up.

Re:I call BS (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760483)

no shortage of programmers or software engineers in the U.S.; there is a shortage of people who are interested in being paid next to nothing.

And the difference is? Of course they can always pay enough to pull the talent away from their current employers...
Thats never been the question in my book. Their is just not a ethical (in my view of a perfect world anyway) way to keep all the capable people of learning a desirable skill like programming, especially something as relocatable. So the second best, in my view, is for a country to try and move/lockdown/get the best talent, and the best infrastructure possible. It seams were losing ground in both fronts. With below average broadband speed, and restricting immigration, and not allowing graduates to stay, the US seams to be loosing out on potential.

although I am very surprised at Canada seamed like they are very restrictive on who can work their on a permanent basis (compared to the US) And high tax rates would hold them down.
(personal income tax, but according /. think their is no difference from taxing a individual or a company, since they just pass it along.)

Re:I call BS (1)

nbert (785663) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760485)

So this means that those US programmers or software engineers have found positions which are more beneficial to them? If they are rare they'll get a higher wage than they "deserve" and if there are too many of them they won't get a fair share for their workforce. Is there some special reason why programmers in the US aren't paid properly? Since Canada isn't especially famous for cheap labour I start to wonder if there are some other reasons for MS's choice.

A useful threat over engineers and politicians... (4, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760517)

Work harder/longer/for less pay or we'll fire you and hire Canadians.

Give us the tax/law breaks we need or we'll hire less people in Redmond and the state/US will earn less tax.

Having some flexibility just over the fence gives MS a lot of options to get heavy handed.

I call MSCE. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760519)

"There is no shortage of programmers or software engineers in the U.S."

Yeah! *going for my next certification*

Re:I call BS (4, Insightful)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760611)

Other than the fact that they are not looking for software engineers or programmers but researchers and really smart PhD level developers, I agree with you. Those kinds of guys are still too smart to be paid under 6 figures or even under $200k, and are probably mostly doctors and lawyers. Hence, we need to import them from countries where societies steer such people into science/technology by means other than money, such as prestige, privileges, indoctrination, etc.

Shrinking something, anyway! (2, Insightful)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760133)

It also seems possible that MS is just trying to shrink how much they have to pay engineers...

Re:Shrinking something, anyway! (1)

Brad_sk (919670) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760333)

I can see MS' point here. Things have just gotten worse for legal immigrants in last 1 or 2 years in US. Every step w.r.t visa issue will take months or years with no light at end of tunnel. For e.g., folks who are working currently can go out of status (for few weeks) since visa extension or renewal will take months. I am sure MS would use this site to keep its workers affected that way.

Re:Shrinking something, anyway! (0, Troll)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760337)

It also seems possible that MS is just trying to shrink how much they have to pay engineers...

Or maybe Microsoft management just watched Sicko and have decided to take Moore's advice and move to a country with a real health service.

If this was a cost saving move they would have increased their setups in India and China.

There is no universal law that says that software can only be produced in the US

Re:Shrinking something, anyway! (1)

dhartshorn (456906) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760377)

Given the conflicts between Gate's public statements (these are $100K jobs) and the third party analysis of what he's paying H1B visa holders (these are $50K jobs), that sounds exactly correct.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070226-8924 .html [arstechnica.com]

That said, there is no particular need for MS to code in the US, nor for MS to create US jobs in general. But those of us living here wish they would.

Engineering is becoming a commodity (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760701)

WHy shouldn't they try to cut expenses?... and why should engineers think they deserve special treatment?

Getting rid of US jobs to cut cost is nothing new. That ipod, phone, whatever is made in China. Those shoes are made in Phillipines. Why the hell should companies keep engineering jobs in US if they can get the job done elsewhere?

LOL (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760159)

It seems possible that shrinking immigration quotas are has affected America's tax and knowledge base.

Starting with you.

Re:LOL (0, Offtopic)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760489)

Starting with you.
If you're going to be correcting grammar, you ought to write in complete sentences and in the proper tense. It lends credibility to your posts. Since your post has no substance, credibility's really all you have left.

This was waiting to happen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760163)

In this global environment either you welcome others or you have to move your operations...

Re:This was waiting to happen... (5, Insightful)

SgtSnorkel (704106) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760683)


The question is. . . Will the Canadians put up with it?

Or will they insist that Microsoft hire qualified Canadian programmers first (as the US gubermint refuses to do)?

Rewrite Title (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760171)

MS moves R&D to Canada to enhance low saleries and gain advanced brainwashing techniques for new serfs.

I told you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760175)

I told you that stricter immigration laws don't work and are against the free market. I told you that companies would just offshore their work, but you didn't listen.

Congratulations, now you have no immigrants(like you wanted) but also no jobs.

Re:I told you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760343)

Congratulations, now you have no immigrants(like you wanted) but also no jobs.

We didn't have the jobs then, either, so what is your point?

That's OK by me! (1)

SgtSnorkel (704106) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760587)


That's OK by me! If they don't want to keep their operations in this country, fine. They don't want to pay a living wage, abide by our laws, rules, and culture, or just be a good citizen in general, then I say good riddance! Go screw some other country with your indentured servants building crap products.

What we want here are companies that are PROUD of how well they pay their employees, not curse them as an expense to be minimized, a resource to be plundered.

That's the governments intent. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760187)

The government knows they're keeping smart people out, (even though the doors are still open for cheap labor,) because they want to equalize the economies between the US, Mexico, and Canada.

Economic inequality was the major stumbling block for the creation of the European Union. It's no different for the creation of the American one.

Re:That's the governments intent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760603)


because they want to equalize the economies between the US, Mexico, and Canada.

The US economy is crap right now. Canada's economy is booming with their dollar at a 30(?) year high. Meanwhile our dollar is tanking against every currency out there. The Euro is at it's highest USD conversion rate ever.

But we still print worthless money.

Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760193)

I live in Vancouver and I've been desperately trying to find work in the software development field around here since I graduated in 2003 from a CS program. The article is lax on details... but does anyone know where I can send my resume?

Re:Where? (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760231)

Don't bother. It sounds to me like they are opening this up in Canada because it's easier to get low-cost employees from India or China into Canada than it is to get them into the US. I don't get the impression that they're doing this because it's hard to get Canadians into the US, especially since it isn't.

Re:Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760289)

there are enough immigrants at the main campus already. seriously, busloads and busloads that seem to show up daily

Re:Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760335)

then they finish cleaning and leave....

Re:Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760469)

It's hard to get Canadians into the US when there's already plenty of Americans willing and able to do the same job, which is most certainly the case. At least locally I'd have home-court advantage and the foreign applicants would have to take a back seat to any equally qualified regional hirees.

Re:Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760409)

EA has a development studio in Vancouver. Slave away there for a year or so and you'll have good resume material for a reasonable job elsewhere.

Re:Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760623)

Apparently, they didn't think I would be a good fit at EA when I tried to get on there... I expect because I'm not really into sports or video games. I imagine they want people who actually _like_ the games they develop -- but I'm just not that big on video games, and I'm definitely not very athletic.

The new steel-worker (4, Informative)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760203)

The more and more I read, it looks like the software developer is the new steel worker. Sure, you need a four year education, but you as a worker are replaceable commodity. You'll be having to move to Canada, India, or the Czech Republic to get a decent paying job, or deal with substandard wages and an abusive work schedule that your unionized buddies don't have to put up with.

Re:The new steel-worker (1)

Timothy Chu (2263) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760543)

You'll be having to move to Canada, India, or the Czech Republic to get a decent paying job


Depends on what you mean by "decent". If by "decent" you're talking purely about dollars and cents that amount to a salary, you're not going to get paid more (at least in India and Canada), on average, than in the US.

Re:The new steel-worker (1)

rgaginol (950787) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760557)

Um... no.

I have to disagree... the 4 years of training at a university means bugger all if you ask me. I've met a few fantastic developers who decided to do ignore the whole university idea and are pretty much the definition of good thinkers and developers. And then I've met many many developers who've got the university degree yet can't think for themselves and usually code by rote. I'm one of those university developers who was quite staggered both by the lack of quality coming out of universities and also occasionally surprised by the proverbial 'diamond in the rough' who'd just gone to tech schools.

The more I work as a developer, the more I realize that good developers are a true commodity. Personally I believe development teams in the 100s is the start of failure for most projects - a few good but well paid developers can often beat the pants off groups of crappy developers. Yet the first solution to fixing large teams of low skilled developers always seems to be outsourcing. Why not try culling the herd?

I guess one of the other problems faced by decision makers is identifying (and keeping) good developers in the first place. It usually takes a good developer to know another good one or smell out a bad one, but if you don't have that first good developer you're never going to know and could set your team back many development cycles with the wrong choices.

Re:The new steel-worker (5, Funny)

jfroot (455025) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760633)

Yeah.. you really don't want to have to move to Canada. Let me tell you aboot my day today:

During the 3 hours when the sun will shine here, I emerge from my igloo to play the government required hour of hockey. Then after I have finished I go hunting for my family's dinner with my trusty bow and arrow. Once home with my cariboo meat, I will sit back down in my igloo, crack open a Molson Canadian and watch one of the two channels we get up here, CBC and the Curling network. And this was a good day, some days it is too cold to even leave the igloo. I can't wait for global warming.

Too late to save money (4, Insightful)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760207)

Has no one told them the Canadian dollar is now almost at par with the United States dollar and may infact surpass it by the end of the year.

Re:Too late to save money (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760347)

The Canadian dollar is only almost on par with the US dollar because the US dollar doesn't buy as much as it used to internationally. This has nothing to do with how good the buying power is regionally. Our dollars may have similar buying power, but software development in the USA still pays noticeably more than it does here in Canada. Heck, QA and web development jobs here frequently only pay minimum wage.

Re:Too late to save money (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760565)

Canada does not suffer from the weird US health system so the employers do not have to directly pay for health care.

FUD (3, Interesting)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760229)

Microsoft just *had* to throw in the comment about
immigration. Microsoft continues to attack programmers
in the U.S. by attempting to drive down salaries via
the H1B scam.

If it was truly a problem for Microsoft, they would
not be opening new centers in Bellevue and Boston, would they?

Re:FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760559)

Have you worked at MS? Then STFU and stop spreading your FUD.

H1-Bs next to me were making $80,000/year -- exactly how much the Americans were making. They also had to pay the same in taxes. And that's in addition to $2k in visa fees plus who knows how much in legal fees.

H1-Bs were NOT cheaper for MS.

Re:FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760609)

I'm a 'softie and I make ~$143k per year before bonus. We've never had a layoff of our dev staff and we can never find enough qualified people to hire. Not really sure where the 'scam' part comes into play...

Cue all the H-1B's (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760235)

who gallantly come to the defense of the H-1B program. I'm sure they have an unbiased view of things.

Don't underestimate Ballmer (4, Funny)

njchick (611256) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760267)

If Google opens its R&D center nearby and lures some programmers from MS, we'll see chairs flying over the border into Canada.

MOD PARENT AS TROLL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760389)

First of all, "Ballmer throwing chairs" is an overused meme on Slashdot
Second, Ballmer never threw chairs at all. That is an urban legend.
http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,3923 2432,00.htm [zdnet.co.uk]

So mods please mod this and any other posts stating Ballmer throws chairs as Troll or Flamebait.

What's not to like about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760749)

You're part of a coverup. NASA is actively working on a launch system that involves:

1) chair-shaped space probes
2) laser projection of the word "Google" on planetary bodies
3) Steve Ballmer

Re:Don't underestimate Ballmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760391)

Ugh. Seriously, the Ballmer/chair joke is about as old and worn out as the Al Gore/invented the Internet one.

But then I'm not in high school anymore, so I guess I'm just out of touch. "Move along gramps, lameness is the new cool!"

Re:Don't underestimate Ballmer (1)

achbed (97139) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760713)

If Google opens its R&D center nearby and lures some programmers from MS, we'll see chairs flying over the border into Canada.

And then maybe we'll see Ballmer arrested for illegal exports. Or maybe China will ban all MS imports due to "failure to meet quality standards".

H1B (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760283)

Well, what did we all think would happen when H1B visas became an "issue"? In today's economy, if we can't bring them here, we'll go there.

Going to Canada (5, Insightful)

redkingca (610398) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760305)

I read this as Microsoft does not want to take the time, money or effort to get people cleared by Homeland Security. So they can get people from Indian and China to work with temporay visas in canada easier.

ahem.... (-1, Troll)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760323)

MS announces a new R & D center 'coming soon' to one backwater or another at least once a month. These 'outside'-the-US day care center are not about US policy or lack of this or lack of that. They are about MS and only MS.

When MS want's to grease the skids and keep a govt. off it's greasy backside so it can rewrite rules o' law, the first thing it does is pinch off yet another press release, so that the target country will gape raw ass and make the whole process easier. OWW! Uhhhuh! I said relax!

Just remember. Investing in MS is risking having your own money used against you in the marketplace.

Re:ahem.... (5, Informative)

Prune (557140) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760439)

Calling Canada, and Vancouver of all places, backwater, is very insulting. Vancouver is near the top in the Mercer quality of life ratings for cities on Earth; the highest US city is not even in the top 20 (and it's Hawaii, not even continental US). http://www.mercerhr.com/referencecontent.jhtml?idC ontent=1128060#top50all [mercerhr.com] And if you're going to critique Mercer, you better be able to back it up because their research is considered the standard given how widely used their services are.

Re:ahem.... (1)

jbr439 (214107) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760727)

Please - as a Vancouver resident who already thinks there are way too many people coming here, I beg you to allow outsiders to continue thinking of us as a backwater. Too bad the fracking 2010 Winter Olympics are gonna make it that much harder.

Giant brain sucking sound. (0, Redundant)

technos (73414) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760341)

It seems possible that shrinking immigration quotas are has affected America's tax and knowledge base.

And with America's schools turning out such fine writers as the submitter, it should be obvious this is the case.

Knowledge (-1, Redundant)

rbgaynor (537968) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760357)

It seems possible that shrinking immigration quotas are has affected America's tax and knowledge base.

Looks like the base of workers knowledgeable in English was one of the first to go.

Outsourcing works (2, Interesting)

firedragon852 (837972) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760369)

Many years ago when I realized that American programmers were way over priced than their Chinese counterparts, I decided to move my company's development center to Beijing. Everything has paid off nicely. I get a much higher margin selling enterprise solutions to various companies. I have no problem recruiting because the supply of programmers is abundant. The reality is in order for American companies to survive and be competitive, they need to look elsewhere for capable workforce. I did and am much happier. With stiff competition from companies like Google, Microsoft is doing the right thing by leaving the US for a better high tech workforce.

Re:Outsourcing works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760463)

So basically, this teaches us, that in a global economy, the only winners are the people on top and the people for whom a pittance of pay is better than none at all.

Progress is wonderful.

Re:Outsourcing works (2, Interesting)

Goldarn (922750) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760509)

If American workers are being laid off in favor of foreign workers, I sure hope the foreign workers can afford your product.

It's like a pyramid scheme -- it only works if only a comparatively few people do it.

Re:Outsourcing works (1)

TheWizardTim (599546) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760583)

Outsourcing only works because the US Government lets it work. It the US was to pass tariff laws, like we had from the founding of this country, then if it cost $50 to make in the US and $20 to make in China, the product would have a $30 tariff on it. As a result, more items sold in the US would be MADE in the us by US workers. Up until the civil war, tariffs paid for ALL of the US governments costs. If the government can't pass tariffs, they could force labor laws in to all deals that they make with other countries. We have great laws protecting Music, but not labor. It's all a matter of what the government does.

Re:Outsourcing works (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760607)

>If it cost $50 to make in the US and $20 to make in China, the product would have a $30 tariff on it.

That model doesn't work either. Please take an economics course before you hold up something like this as an ideal utopian plan.

There is no problem ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760371)

as long as we got people to pick our lettuce, the immigration laws are fine.

Translation (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760373)

The company said the centre will 'allow the company to continue to recruit and retain highly skilled people affected by the immigration issues in the U.S.'

Translation: We don't want to pay American employees what they're worth, so we're going somewhere else.

It's their right to do so, but....

I was on a congressionally funded study of some specialized skills of which the government believed there was a shortage. We had a distinguished economist on the committee and his first comment was, "There is no shortage. Employers (the government, in this case) always perceive a shortage because they want to pay their employees less."

There are more than enough qualified engineers in the US to work for the tech firms. They're just not willing to compete on the salaries. When Bill Gates says, "we need more visas for the best and the brightest,' he means he wants to pay less for talent.

Re:Translation (5, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760703)

Funny how globalization only becomes bad when it affects your own class. I certainly have heard little outcry from the libertarianish techies I know that jobs making shoes, clothes, and cars have moved overseas, nor do I see them looking for "Made in USA" (or other first-world nations) before getting the cheapest product they can find on the shelves.

If it's good enough for Flint, Michigan, it's good enough for Silicon Valley.

KB article number ? (2, Funny)

Starteck81 (917280) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760401)

Is there a knowledge base article number for that work around? I'd like to see which systems are affected.

Retaining engineers is easy (2, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760435)

Do it the same way you retain a CEO- pay them what they're worth. For closed source software, that means cutting royalty checks for code contributed.

Re:Retaining engineers is easy (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760599)

And how are you going to calculate how much to pay them? Lines of code? Lines of documentation? What about after 10 years and the software has been rewritten one line at a time? Do their checks decrease slowly? How can the developer prove that the royalty is correct? Does this royalty include support fees or just initial sales? This model doesn't work. Engineers who design bridges don't get a portion of the tolls. It doesn't work in other industries, and I've never heard of a developer who complained they wanted royalties. If you want a piece of the action then buy stock. Or work for a startup and give up salary in exchange for options. Or work for a company that engages in profit-sharing.

Re:Retaining engineers is easy (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760707)

And how are you going to calculate how much to pay them? Lines of code? Lines of documentation? What about after 10 years and the software has been rewritten one line at a time? Do their checks decrease slowly? How can the developer prove that the royalty is correct? Does this royalty include support fees or just initial sales? This model doesn't work. Engineers who design bridges don't get a portion of the tolls. It doesn't work in other industries, and I've never heard of a developer who complained they wanted royalties. If you want a piece of the action then buy stock. Or work for a startup and give up salary in exchange for options. Or work for a company that engages in profit-sharing.

Well, that's the point isn't it. If you want to retain engineers, give them a reason to stick around. A slowly decreasing royalty would encourage developers to contribute new and debugged lines of code to keep their percentage of the work done high. Microsoft's own software, SourceSafe, can give lines of code counts per developer. Support fees are for helpdesk people. And writing software is more like writing a book than it is like designing bridges anyway; same idea applies.

Your other ideas are good too- the entire point though is that people who produce things deserve more than management- which doesn't.

CEO's are paid what they're worth? (1)

Cordath (581672) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760737)

The whole point of being a CEO is that you can loot the company for your bonus, cook the books, slash R&D, outsource/downsize a few workers and then move on to the next company with glowing credits you obtained by making the last company's quarterly report show a short-term profit at the expense it's future.

the solution.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760459)

Skilled programmers need to sneak in across the border, steal (or make up) a social security number, and then get hired by Microsoft for $3/hour. They'll probably get free drivers licenses too, and can walk into any emergency room for free health care.

Take a hint from the mexican orange-pickers!

Hire Canadians first in Canada ! (1)

spazekaat (991287) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760465)

As a Canadian, also a resident of BC, I hope that both our federal and provincial governments will tell M$ to hire CANADIAN CITIZENS first, and pay them wage^H^H^H^Hsalaries that are at least at par with those in similar industries in this area.

I'm pretty sure that there are a lot of qualified Canadians who would be interested in this move by M$.

Oh Great (White North) (1)

JohnnyOpcode (929170) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760487)

Not only do we get more terrorists coming to Canada (check out the CSIS reports), but now they will dilute the IT wages further. These immigrants will be poor migrant dataworkers (worst than tomatoe picking Mexicans) in a decade and North America will be screwed. I can see the day when the best software comes from a country like Germany, just like their cars. Damn blockheads, I starting to see their way of thinking maybe is the best way!

M$ software quality will continue to decline (1)

jcgam69 (994690) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760531)

I don't see how this move will help Microsoft to recruit and retain quality programmers. There are plenty of quality programmers in the U.S. Look at the great code linux programmers produce on a daily basis. They're obviously not paying enough to recruit these programmers. I say, spend some of those cash reserves [nwsource.com] to buy better programmers. Otherwise, the quality of their software will continue to decline.

TERRISTS! (0, Offtopic)

sohp (22984) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760545)

Unspoken but I bet part of the problem is that with the DHS and the TSA and their combined incompetence and evil, foreign workers from certain areas of the world are just having too much trouble coming into the country and staying in.

Immigration/Hiring Policies Shrank Knowledge Base (2, Insightful)

aldheorte (162967) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760567)

This smacks of blaming the chickens for being raided by the fox. What H1-B visas and other means of not hiring American citizens has done is essentially subsidize corporate training costs by doing away with the need to train entry level American workers. By using H1-B visas and other means to avoid having to hire and train entry-level citizens, corporations find themselves in a position of having trouble finding technical expertise willing to work for minimum wage because no one could get that expertise without any jobs on which to get them. Their shortsightedness has caught up with them.

Don't believe the propaganda, either. They are not having trouble finding technical expertise. They are having trouble finding people who will accept minimum wage for it. This would be one thing if their profit margins were tightly squeezed, but that Microsoft is complaining about this is rich indeed given the profit margins they already enjoy. If corporations in the U.S. want a robust and affordable labor pool, they should stop hiring foreign workers immediately, create good technology training programs, and start hiring American citizens for entry level technical positions. To assist them, the federal government should stop promulgating immigration policies that work against its own citizens and competitiveness.

Re:Immigration/Hiring Policies Shrank Knowledge Ba (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760693)

I think you forget about patent policies - I know I am a talented software engineer (he said modestly), but I *will not work* in a country with software patents like the Corporate Reich of America.

They aren't *moving* R&D... (4, Insightful)

puppetman (131489) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760577)

they are just opening another Research/Software Development center.

"Other centres exist in North Carolina, Ireland, Denmark and Israel, while full research-and-development locations exist in the U.K., India, China and California's Silicon Valley."

It's really not that big a deal. Microsoft probably can't hire enough people in the US, and opening development centers in other countries make sense. Not that great a story....

Are has affected? (0, Redundant)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760589)

I mean, seriously, are has affected? What kind of editor lets that through? Sheesh...

Re:Are has affected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760679)

Someone who will did travel in a time machine from the future?

honest question for microsoft management (1)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760591)

Is there a cause-and-effect relationship between (a) microsoft's unrelenting push to hire inexpensive offshore/H1B coders over the last several years and (b) the missed schedules, dropped features, and lack of market acceptance of vista?

there is a shortage of smart folks in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760601)

Microsoft is having a very hard time recruiting for new positions, and new positions are opening up more quickly than they can fill them. Go look at http://members.microsoft.com/careers/search/defaul t.aspx [microsoft.com]. They have 3034 job openings in the US alone. You cannot argue that they are offshoring jobs, or trying to get workers for cheaper wages. They are just trying to get workers. They pay at the high end of the tech industry, and they are very picky about who they hire.

Special privilidges to M$ from the Canadian Gov? (1)

third_world_lurker (1124397) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760669)

I'm not sure how this is going to work because there is a back log of immigration applications going back years due to 9/11 and immigration strikes. Currently for some parts of the work the wait is up to 36 months to get Canadian landed immigrant papers. The back log may be less in British Columbia, but this is not certain. The only way this is feasible is that there is a special process and concessions for IT workers going to work for companies like Microsoft.

Does Google have R&D in Vancouver, BC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760687)

The brain drain that MSFT is experiencing is due to those with talent going to Google.

Perhaps A Career Change... (5, Funny)

Sawopox (18730) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760695)

is in order. First of all, this [furnacefishmedia.com] gives hope that even as a geek, I'll have a chance.

Secondly, there's no shortage of excellent marijuana in Vancouver. After hours and hours of working for Microsoft, nothing will make you feel better than a few bong hits of BC bud. I think being really high makes Vista worth having. It's slow, you're slow. The nifty visuals are "trippy" and while it's paging out to disk, you can munch.

Opportunity (1)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760697)

Assuming this is about Indian oursourcing through Canada (which is exactly what is happening in my industry, aerospace), there is opportunity here. Hook up with someone you know in Canada, get them to hire and the workers, and you provide the American interface to your American customers. Provide contract services.

It's called the global delivery model. OK, you wouldn't be a coder anymore, you'd be an agent, but at least you would get to wear a Rolex.

Linus is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760725)

I am with Linus on this one.
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