Microsoft plans to open a software development centre in Vancouver, Canada, in a bid to side-step problematic US visa issues and find skilled immigrant workers.
The Microsoft Canada Development Centre will open in the fall of 2007 and will be home to software developers from around the world. The new office will employ 200 staff, with plans to grow to 900 within a few years.
“Microsoft is a global company, and our greatest asset is smart, talented, highly skilled people,” said S. Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft. “Our goal as a company is to attract the next generation of leading software developers from all parts of the world, and this center will be a beacon for some of that talent.”
In the official statement about the new development centre no comments were made about the facility supporting Microsot Game Studios - however it's not ridiculous to assume that may happen in time. Its Redmond campus hosts a number of its games teams, and other comparable development and research centres have helped support the company's games strategy - the R&D division in Cambridge devised the True Skill ranking system used in Xbox Live.
Plus, Vancouver plays host to a number of games studios with thousands of its technical work force supporting the video game industry - EA, THQ, Disney and many others have studios in the city.