Is Microsoft entering new phase in the battle for engineers?

Aug 18, 2011

A panel discussion in Seattle this week hosted by Barokas Public Relations and GeekWire sparked a lively debate around the intersection of two questions:  Why are Facebook, Google, HP, Zynga and building big shops in Seattle? And, Is Microsoft vulnerable to engineer-poaching because of its culture?

“September 15th is coming. That’s the big exodus from Microsoft every year. Bonuses are set. Cash is coming,” Geekwire reports Seattle entrepreneur Dave Schappell saying. “And startups and Facebook, Google, Amazon – we are all ready to recruit out of that resigning class. And that’s why (the Silicon Valley companies) are here.”

Venture capitalist Greg Gottesman said those companies have come to the Seattle region because “Microsoft is weak, and they feel that they can steal technical talent.”

One commenter wrote at Geekwire: “I don't agree that these companies are all in Seattle due primarily to suck Microsoft of talent. I expect that was perhaps reason #5. Reason #1 being that in looking at all the cities in the U.S., Seattle is one of the handful of software development centers.”

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