Microsoft to hire 7,000 people

Microsoft Corp. recently said it plans to hire as many as 7,000 people in its current fiscal year and increase spending on research and development.

The new hires will fill both newly created positions and jobs vacated by others, Microsoft said in a statement. About 3,000 people are expected to be hired in the Puget Sound area of Washington state, the location of the company’s headquarters, and slightly less than 3,000 internationally, Microsoft said.

In its 2004 fiscal year, which ended June 30, Microsoft hired 2,163 people for new positions and replaced 4,937 people who left the company for a total of 7,100 new hires. That’s more than the approximately 5,000 new hires the company had planned at the beginning of the year.

As of June 30, Microsoft’s full time, regular headcount was 57,086 worldwide. At the same time last year, the headcount was 54,923. About two-thirds of the new positions during the year are based in the Puget Sound area, a spokeswoman for the Redmond, Wash.-based software maker said.

Microsoft provided no information on the specific types of jobs it added over the last year, or which openings it expects to have this year. Some careers may be in research and development (R&D), because Microsoft is increasing its investment in that area by US$200 million to US$4.8 billion this year, the company said.

The R&D investment amounts exclude various charges, for example for employee stock-based compensation. Microsoft executives in the past year have talked up the company’s US$6.8 billion R&D investment for the 2004 fiscal year. A recent earnings report showed a US$7.8 billion expense for R&D in 2004.

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