As much as I would enjoy tooling around Redmond on a bulldozer, I think it is fair to say Microsoft’s growth potential is limited by our ability to find great candidates, in particular ones happy to endure our rainy winter months.
If Microsoft wants to grow into the great globe-spanning corporation of the future we’ll have to explore two options: acquisitions and opening international development centers. The first path is the traditional one a company of our size starts to follow. This may be tricky for MS, because of the anti-trust scrutiny we are under. But you can imagine for example if MS had bought DEC a few years ago (and I’m not suggesting that would have been a good acquisition, just the size of opportunity I’m talking about).
The other option seems to be gaining steam. We will be accused of outsourcing (I saw an article that lumped us with Nike, as if we were opening software sweatshops in SE Asian slums), but in our case the point is to get more good talent, not cheap labor. These international centers could also help us better understand international customers and business etc.