Got to love quick and swift rebuttals! It seems like Microsoft will not shut down its South Korean R&D unit completely, instead it is just a good old fashioned shuffle of employees.
News broke out yesterday that Microsoft was pulling the plug on its South Korean R&D office to focus solely on the Beijing unit, and most of the employees in the Korean unit were to be moved to other locations. But while the moving bit is correct, the division, apparently, will continue to function.
According to updates from Neowin, Microsoft says that while some of the workers in the Korean office were asked to move to Redmond, the rest will be shifted to other departments. According to a Microsoft spokesperson:
“The phrase R&D has been misinterpreted and Microsoft’s R&D is not moving from South Korea. Last month, after evaluations that the company regularly does, Microsoft made adjustments to its Office workforce in South Korea.
With work completed in a particular product area, some roles have been redeployed to Office in their Redmond headquarters, consolidating with the Office team there. Some roles moved to other areas within Microsoft. Some employees chose to accept severance packages and leave the company. None of this, however, involved positions in R&D or Microsoft Research or China.”
Some circles were reporting that Microsoft wanted to consolidate its research and development efforts to six locations — Redmond, Silicon Valley, Cambridge, New England, Beijing, and Bangalore.
For this reason a South Korean facility did not make much sense.
But with this planned shuffle of employees, it remains to be seen how the South Korean R&D division moves forward from here.