Microsoft Picks Norway To Host Enterprise Search Efforts

    September 30, 2008

So much for Redmond and Washington.  According to an announcement made by none other than Steve Ballmer, Microsoft is moving its main development center for enterprise search technology to Oslo, Norway.

Why Norway?  The most publicized reason seems to be that the country has served as the base of Fast Search & Transfer, which Microsoft acquired earlier this year.  This gives Microsoft a ready staff of 300 people, to which it now plans to add another 50 or so.

Steve Ballmer

Tax breaks or other incentives may be at stake, too, since Ballmer met with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.  And, although this international move has probably been in the works for months, we must admit that the American economy isn’t the most welcoming environment at the moment.

Anyway, in addition to the main office in Oslo, Microsoft will maintain outposts in the Nowegian cities of Trondheim and Tromsoe, according to an Aftenposten article.  The company hasn’t discussed the expected costs or timeframe of these changes.

Microsoft’s expansion seems, at least to some degree, to mirror Yahoo’s recent establishment of a research center in Grenoble, France.