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March 13, 2008 / Boris Mann

Bill Gates talks on NPR about the Vancouver development center

A friend (who currently works for Microsoft here in Vancouver, albeit remotely from the Richmond office) sent me a link to an NPR audio interview with Bill Gates, done after he testified to Congress about the need to liberalize H1-B visa rules. I have little interest in the US H1-B issues, but I am excited that he talked about the Vancouver development center (I first blogged about this on my personal site). The accompanying NPR story here:

Microsoft recently opened an office in Vancouver, Canada — where it can station high-skilled workers who can’t legally work in the U.S.

There, Gates tells Robert Siegel, the government welcomes “not only those people for these high-paying jobs, but the four or five jobs we create around each of those engineers.”

I haven’t heard much about the Microsoft Vancouver development center locally, and folks certainly haven’t been showing up at DemoCampVancouver or anything. I’ve heard some rumours that people only stay for a year, until they can do an intra-company transfer to the US (Redmond, likely), but I have no confirmation or knowledge about this directly.



  1. Microsoftie at Richmond / Mar 20 2008 3:56 pm

    I just stumbled upon your blog by looking for startups in Vancouver area. MS has brought some really smart guys over here. I wonder if anyone will be interested to use their services on a parttime basis (as some are really keen to work in areas that interest them)?

    BTW, it’s not about going to Redmond or anything, Richmond is not a refugee camp. Trust me, MS is taking this center very seriously and over the years this will be the next thing to Redmond.

  2. Boris Mann / Mar 20 2008 4:27 pm

    Thanks for the info, Microsoftie! Yes, there are MANY people that would love some extra tech help on side projects. Hope to see you at the next DemoCampVancouver…. (coming up April 10th, focused on gaming).

    Glad to hear that this is real investment in the local tech economy. I’d love to have an open house tour and learn a bit more about the projects going on right here in Vancouver.

  3. Todd Sieling / Apr 2 2008 3:27 pm

    Let’s not forget that MS has one successful venture into living rooms with the xbox, and is surely looking to extend that success (as questionable as it might be by the numbers so far. I could easily see MS also bringing a lot of game development into the area, with so many studios already here, bursting with talent that might just as easily jump to a new gig without a change in their city of choice. That Don Mattrick (previous president of EA and now an MS VP) lives in Vancouver makes for a nice alignment of stars.

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