Microsoft Opens Software Development Campus in India

Microsoft on Monday formally opened a new software development campus in India that is Microsoft's largest campus after its Redmond, Wash. headquarters.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was on hand to dedicate the 28-acre campus in the suburbs of Hyderabad, which currently has one building with a capacity for 1,600 workers. Microsoft currently employs 450 software developers at Hyderabad. Ballmer said Microsoft would probably exceed a previously stated goal of employing more than 500 employees there in 2005.

Sensitive to the domestic repercussions of outsourcing high-skill programming jobs, Ballmer insisted there is enough room in the IT market for job growth in India and the United States.

"The nature of our business is such that there is enough growth potential, which allows us to hire both at our Redmond headquarters and here in India," the New York Times quoted Ballmer as saying Monday. "Since we are looking for very high levels of skills, we are looking to hire in the hundreds."

Also on Monday, Ballmer signed major agreements with two of India's leading outsourcing companies, Infosys Technologies and Wipro, according to the Times. Ballmer announced an $8 million joint venture with Infosys. Microsoft is one of Wipro's top five customers, with Wipro providing call centers, IT services and software development. The number of Wipro employees working on the Microsoft contract has risen from 200 in March 2001 to more than 5,000.

"These deals signify Indian outsourcing companies' growing clout in influencing technology decisions in American boardrooms," Sudip Nandy, chief strategy officer of Wipro, said, according to the Times.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.