Jul 10, 2007

Microsoft moved to Vancouver

Seems like Microsoft has found a way across the H1B visa cap in the US. The beneficiary however would be Canada and not the US.

As Jenna says on the Technical Careers at MS blog:

Microsoft believes that Vancouver is an international gateway to the world and an attractive destination for Canadians and people from other countries around the world looking for highly skilled jobs. And since we have development centers around the world both within the US and outside the US, what is just one more office? We are delighted about expanding Microsoft Canada's presence to the greater Vancouver area with the Microsoft Canada Development Centre.

So, what does this have to do with the US H1B visa cap? Not only will this be a full development center, but it will also be a great alternative location for some of the new hires into Microsoft who have not been able to get their H1B visas this year due to the limited quota. Since Vancouver is just a short train/car ride away, it will be easy to stay in touch.

Richard Florida blogs about how that would impact Canada and what the US is losing out on:

So the development work, the salaries and tax revenues go to Canada not the US. And of course those all important technology spillovers and clustering get built in Vancouver strengthening its already significant research base and university infrastructure.

As Gandhi said: “I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.”

Replace cultures with talent and you know what nations should do :-)