Microsoft to create 100 new R&D jobs in Dublin

10 Mar 2005

Marking its 20th anniversary in Ireland with style Microsoft said today that it is creating 100 new jobs with the establishment of a research centre at its European Product Development Centre in Sandyford, Dublin.

The centre will be responsible for research, design and development of core features that will become part of the company’s global product offerings.

Researchers will initially be involved with Windows Media Centre, working on the company’s digital terrestrial TV project for Europe. Developers will also be involved in core design and development work for the next release of Microsoft Windows, codenamed Longhorn.

The core feature design and development to be undertaken, as part of the research project, will complement and build on the development and localisation work, which has been carried out onsite over the past 17 years by the team at Microsoft Ireland.

Since establishing its initial European manufacturing and distribution centre in Dublin in 1975, Microsoft Ireland has grown to become one of the largest software company in Ireland, employing more than 1,200 highly skilled people.

From its original mandate the Irish operation has grown to become a strategic hub in the Microsoft global network, servicing customers and partners in 70 countries across EMEA. Today the company is a multifunctional centre that manages a range of functions, which now includes product development and localisation, financial services, supply chain management, customer care, data hosting and sales and marketing.

The jobs announcement was made by Jean-Philippe Courtois, senior vice-president and CEO of Microsoft EMEA. Courtois said the decision to locate the centre in Dublin will help contribute to the objectives of the governments of the EU by helping it move closer to realising the goals and objectives of the Lisbon Agenda in terms of the region’s overall competitiveness.

Courtois said: “At Microsoft, we hear the European Commission’s call to invigorate the Lisbon Agenda through policies and partnerships that lead to stronger growth, innovation and the creation of more and better jobs. Our plan to locate a research centre in Ireland reflects our long and valued relationship in this country and our ongoing commitment to Europe. This investment extends our innovation infrastructure in Europe and supports the policies of the Irish Government as well as those of the EU.”

Also present was Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD who welcomed the significant investment by Microsoft: “Competition is inevitable, particularly for this kind of high-quality R&D investment, and comes from competing locations both internally within corporations and externally from around the globe.

“Choosing to locate this centre in Dublin illustrates not only Microsoft’s commitment and confidence in Ireland but the quality and depth of skills and knowledge of the Irish workforce, which has been so crucial to Microsoft’s success down the years. Winning this knowledge intensive project reflects well on Ireland’s ability to compete globally with a strong pool of appropriate high skilled people,” the Taoiseach added.

By John Kennedy