Microsoft to close Microsoft Research lab in Silicon Valley

Microsoft Research's Silicon Valley, with about 50 employees, is one of the casualties of Microsoft's latest round of 2,100 job cuts.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

One of the casualties of the latest round of job cuts at Microsoft is the Microsoft Research (MSR) Silicon Valley lab.

On September 18, Microsoft officials acknowledged the company would be cutting 2,100 jobs across the company worldwide as part of the previously announced layoffs of 18,000 disclosed in July 2014. Of today's cuts, 747 are in the Washington state area, and 160 total in California, a Microsoft spokesperson said.

Derek Murray, a Microsoft Research researcher in distributed systems, tweeted that "Today they (Microsoft) announced that the lab in Silicon Valley will be closing, effective Friday."


Microsoft Research's Silicon Valley outpost, located in Mountain View, Calif., was founded in 2001 and currently employs close to 50, a company spokesperson said. 

The MSR Silicon Valley lab is primarily focused on distributed computing research, including "privacy, security, protocols, fault-tolerance, large-scale systems, concurrency, computer architecture, Internet search and services, and related theory," according to the web page for the lab.

MSR Silicon Valley is managed by Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Roy Levin.

Microsoft operates a number of Microsoft Research labs worldwide, including labs in Asia, Cairo, Cambridge (UK), Europe, India, Israel New England, New York City and Redmond.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the Silicon Valley research lab is closing this Friday, and noted that an undisclosed number of those researchers will be offered jobs at other Microsoft Research labs. 

The spokesperson characterized the closing as a "consolidation of the west coast labs."

He noted that Microsoft still has 2,500 employees working for the company in the Silicon Valley area including individuals working on Skype, Yammer, Bing, Outlook.com and Xbox. He said the cuts today do not mean Microsoft is backing away from its research commitments or necessarily closing any of the research projects that are run out of the Silicon Valley lab.

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