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MS shifting development to India

MS developers in the US just cost too much!

At last there is an option. If MS can get rid of all their greedy US based developers and shift to low cost india, that will be a win for all of us since the savings will be passed on to the consumers and the cost of Windows and MS Office will be cut drastically, perhaps to 1/10 what it is now!

Only protectionists and racists will be against this new era of global opportunity.

Wednesday, July 2, 2003

> Only protectionists and racists will be against this new
> era of global opportunity.

And whiners who overvalue their productivity.

Wednesday, July 2, 2003

"that will be a win for all of us since the savings will be passed on to the consumers and the cost of Windows and MS Office will be cut drastically"

Haven't been paying attention, have you? Copy protection in XP was supposed to cut piracy by eleventy-zillion percent. That would mean more $$$ for MS, which MS promised to use for R&D, since the billions they have in the bank obviously weren't enough.

Consumers won't see a dime of that money.


Wednesday, July 2, 2003

makes a lot of sense really....lets them compete more nearly headon with open source as well, $3-7/hour isn't free but its getting pretty close.

Wednesday, July 2, 2003

Turn up your irony detector

Our team of programmer
Wednesday, July 2, 2003

Are there any entrepeneurial software companies in India that have made it big, or is the claim to fame simply cheap labor?

Brad Wilson (
Wednesday, July 2, 2003

> Consumers won't see a dime of that money.

And why should they?  Why should consumers feel their own consumer surplus should increase just because Microsoft decreased their costs?

Wednesday, July 2, 2003

My sarcasm sensors are going off pretty strong. Microsoft is yielding, what, a 90% software profit margin (remember before you do the math of sales to revenue, Microsoft loses BILLIONS each year on failed partnerships, and constantly subsidizing money bleeding ventures like the XBox and MSN). Microsoft could save billions simply by focusing on their core areas (operating systems and productivity software).

Announcements like this are meant to cater to the, in this case, Indian crowd (note the Indian VP of Windows Development). I mean the latter half of the article is about Microsoft cutting unionized production facilities, and earlier example was about consulting. Niether are the people making Office or Windows. Microsoft has attempted to sweatshop software development for years to no success, and once again this is a lot of talk with very little reality (ooh, a couple hundred people. Wow. Microsoft has hundreds of employees in virtually every country on the globe, so having a couple hundred in the second largest country in the world doesn't really sound too amazing).

Let me say this, though: If I hear that Microsoft really starts siphoning money out of the country that they've gotten through basically a consumer supported sanction, I'll be pirating their software and trying out Linux faster than you can imagine. To put it bluntly: Don't fuck with the American tech worker Microsoft, even if your mouthpiece is just trying to make his relatives happy - We made you and we will break you.

Anonymous Cowboy
Wednesday, July 2, 2003

I think some Indian companies like i-flex are moving from consulting work to product development.

The impression I got was that many of the major BPO companies were / are planning to use the revenue generate from BPO to fund product R & D. If memory serves me correctly i-flex develops banking software.

Walter Rumsby
Wednesday, July 2, 2003

It has always worried me that while I was partying and playing football at uni, geeks were learning to do useful things.

I and my mates always were worried that when we went into business and management, we might actually have a dependency on them, and thus have to pay them as much as we pay ourselves.

For a while that's what happened. For a while, they even made more than us. But thank God for the globe, that's all fixed now.

Wednesday, July 2, 2003

Thats a great post.

However, what about the actual economy here?
The people in country "X" may be cheaper, but are they as good ? Thats the important question.
Who wants a person that costs half when they do less than half the job, or take 3x as long?

James Ladd
Thursday, July 3, 2003

No company is going to just pack up and move to India. Think of the costs, not to mention the training, staff losses, and loss of all the IP and ideas in the heads of the programmers. What India needs, and I haven't seen much of yet, is inside innovation. Why doesn't an Indian company do their own operating system, or office suite? Imagine that, it could be 10 times cheaper, or 10 times better (joking).

We sell a CMS/portal server, and our clients buy it because not only is it a good product, they also have access to us, the people who wrote the product, for consultancy. To be honest I don't see this going away any time soon. If Interwoven moved to India, the product may cost a million dollars less (/sarcasm), but it is still going to cost a few million to get going (more sarcasm, but relatively correct). And the consultants who do this work will have to be local to the organisation. Unless we _all_ move to India, nothing will change.

I think we should all stop whining and worrying, and stick to writing kick arse software :)

Rhys Keepence
Thursday, July 3, 2003

There is an incredibly important distinction between developing software for your own business purposes, and developing someone else's software for their purposes.

The former activity requires proximity to a base of users and paying customers, as well as the deep pockets to pay up front for an uncertain activity that may or may not yield a profitable product. It also requires something deeper - the decision and commitment to do so.

The latter activity is basically what all employees do. Developing someone else's software is a commodity function and requires absolutely no element of risk taking.

The IT entrepreneurship of "India, Inc." appears to be currently restricted to the domain of provisioning low cost, high quality outsourced development services. This is a FAR cry from envisioning a new class of product, evangelizing it, and spending the money and time to develop and market it.

So I wonder if India possesses the entrepreneurial culture to take this leap of developing their own intellectual property on a large scale. It is a large and non-obvious jump. It's always easier to take the money and work for someone else.

I look at the litany of glossy, high flying "preferred vendors" and other such bodyshops that graced the ad pages of Contract Professional in the late 90's - did even a few of these places have ANY of their own product equity? Hell no. They'd can the ass of anyone daring to sit on the bench for more than 2 days, because internal R&D doesn't count, only billings. Same with India, I am guessing.

Bored Bystander
Thursday, July 3, 2003

Isn't iFlex owned by Citigroup?
Thursday, July 3, 2003

If so that would explain why they work in banking software.

When I was in India they were touted as a local firm.

Walter Rumsby
Thursday, July 3, 2003

Citigroup has a majot investment in IFlex, Polaris. 2 companies from the top of my head.

Prakash S
Thursday, July 3, 2003

The inital post is just ridiculous.
Don't you think at all before posting here?

Several very SIMPLE things to consider:

1. It does not matter how cheap will the new programmers will be. The investments are already made and ONLY the new software will be cheaper.
2. Indians are not that cheap. Not these which will be able to work effectively and well on MS projects, especially if they are core projects of them like Windows and Office (which is HIGHLY UNLIKELY).
3. It is ridiculous to think that in a software company the employees are ONLY programmers. Yes, they cost some bucks, but there are tens of thousands of people not related to programming.
4. Support and local representatives CAN NOT be moved to India :)
5. The actual moving will cost money too!
6. Cutting loses DOES NOT mean that they will lower prices.
7. Lowering sales MAY mean that they lower prices.

Actually lots of flame wars or just stupid threads are appearing by very wrong interpretation of news.

Boris Yankov
Thursday, July 3, 2003

I know MS is in a price war with Sony with their X-Box, but I don't think they're going to compete on price with the other OS's, and Office Suites out there... They're the market leader, and to compete on price would mean reducing the percieved value of your own product.
Thursday, July 3, 2003

In totally unrelated news, unemployment figures in the U.S. are at their highest levels in over 9 years.

Jim Rankin
Thursday, July 3, 2003

A couple of people here are talking about lower costs for products.

Could we just get this straight. Companies outsource so they can keep more of their revenue as profit, not so they can cut the end costs to consumers. It's got nothing to do with benefiting customers.

On the topic of Indian firms developing products, yes, it's true that most have not done that, and I would say probably lack the expertise to do it successfully. It's a lot harder to developer a product you ship to people that it is to do custom business applications.

Sunday, July 6, 2003

"If MS can get rid of all their greedy US based developers..."

I stopped reading as soon as I saw that. Get a clue before you make yourself look like a moron.

Warren Henning
Sunday, July 6, 2003

"the savings will be passed on to the consumers"

I'm sorry. Wrong answer. That's not the capitalist way. Bill will get richer, fsck the workers.

Tuesday, July 8, 2003

"...all their greedy US based developers..."

"Only protectionists and racists will be against this new era..."

So let me get this straight.  The original poster can claim that all American programmers are greedy, but anyone who opposes a programmer from Delhi is a protectionist or a racist.  Okay, that makes sense.

Wednesday, July 9, 2003

A lot of people on this board need to turn on their sarcasm detectors...

Chris Nahr
Thursday, July 10, 2003

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