Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has thrown down the gauntlet and called Google's headcount growth plans "insane."
Hmm. Let's look at a few interesting facts:
Microsoft = 75,000 employees
Microsoft officials have stated that their plan is to grow headcount in Microsoft's Online Systems Business (OSB) division by 40 percent in the coming year. (No word right now on what the current size of the existing OSB group -- all of the folks working on MSN, Windows Live and the back-end infrastructure supporting Microsoft's online properties.)
It seems like Microsoft isn't shying away from hiring in other divisions, either.
As anonymous blogger Who da' Punk at Mini-Microsoft recently noted:
"First I was pissed-off and horrified at how much and how quickly Microsoft's number of employees grew for no obvious business need. Now, hearing about the contents in the latest InsideMS post by Chris Owens, we're not only expanding our building construction and acquisition in the Redmond area quickly to deal with the stuffed-sardine situation most groups have but we're also... hold on, I've got to steady myself... we're also planning to accommodate another... deep breath... 10,000 to 12,000 Redmond-area hires....
"We're already staggering to operate effectively with our current mass of employees, how in the world do we expect to be effective with even more? And if Redmond grows by 12,000 people, how much of that will be matched with global hiring?"
Perhaps some of those 10,000 to 12,000 new Redmond-based hires will work for OSB. But I'm sure there are plenty who will be assigned to the Unified Communications, Xbox and Zune teams, too.
Seems like the Ballmer pot is calling the Schmidt kettle black on this one.