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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 technology reporter Matt Day.

Category: Recruiting
June 22, 2009 at 10:40 AM

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

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…


Comments | More in Employees, India, Microsoft, Public policy & issues, Recruiting

March 17, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Computer science enrollment rebounds nationally and at UW

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:


Comments | More in Employees, Public policy & issues, Recruiting, Tech Economy

February 20, 2009 at 4:43 PM

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

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…


Comments | More in Microsoft layoffs, Recruiting

February 2, 2009 at 6:12 AM

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

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.


Comments | More in Microsoft layoffs, Public policy & issues, Recruiting, Tech Economy

January 29, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Microsoft has posted 72 job openings in Washington since layoffs announced

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.


Comments | More in Advertising, Coming and going, Google, Halo, Microsoft layoffs, Mobile, MSN, Online services, Recruiting, Search

December 29, 2008 at 10:25 AM

Catching up: Microsoft layoff rumors

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.


Comments | More in Recruiting, Strategy, Tech Economy

December 18, 2008 at 10:30 AM

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

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.


Comments | More in Education, Philanthropy, Public policy & issues, Recruiting, Tech Economy

December 10, 2008 at 7:39 AM

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

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.


Comments | More in Coming and going, Google, Personalities, Recruiting, Search, Yahoo

December 9, 2008 at 10:08 AM

Report: Big Yahoo layoff coming Wednesday

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.


Comments | More in Coming and going, Recruiting, Yahoo

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