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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

October 15, 2007 at 10:40 AM

Microsoft’s effect on the local economy

As someone who grew up in Seattle, I’ve always been curious about the effect Microsoft has had on the region.

Today’s column revisits the subject and draws on a new report that Dick Conway produced for Microsoft, updating a 2003 study that I wrote about here and when Microsoft stopped issuing stock options.

The column was also a chance to more fully discuss something I touched on last week in a short presentation to the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce — where Jim Stanton spoke — and on CNBC.

Here are samples from two of the responses I’ve received this morning. The upbeat:

Thank you for the article about Microsoft…. In many ways Microsoft has taken Boeing’s place with all the economic benefits and risks associated with a major regional employer. But there are many differences with Boeing; Microsoft pays more, the industry is more dynamic, there are many other companies here because of Microsoft, the quality of the people they have brought in is very high and has provided outstanding community leadership, the absolute value of the money is staggering and the overall wealth of the community has risen considerably because of it.

And the other perspective:

Think what it would be like if Microsoft were to go “belly up”and disappear. Housing prices would be more reasonable. Traffic congestion would would be minimal. We wouldn’t need billions for new bridges and roads. We wouldn’t see all the trees of the suburbs bulldozed down so more houses could be put in their place. Then if Boeing would decide to move to Kansas we would really have something!

Comments | Topics: Microsoft

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