Microsoft says research budget may create new jobs

HANOVER Tue Mar 3, 2009 3:55pm EST

Showgoers check the offerings at the Microsoft booth at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada in this January 9, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Showgoers check the offerings at the Microsoft booth at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada in this January 9, 2009 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking

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HANOVER (Reuters) - Microsoft (MSFT.O) may create up to 3,000 jobs as it raises investment in research and development by $1 billion this year, its chief operating officer said on Tuesday.

"Realignment of the company will help us reassign people and could allow us to create some 2,000 to 3,000 new jobs," Kevin Turner said at CeBit, Europe's biggest technology trade fair.

Turner said while Microsoft was eliminating jobs in some areas, new opportunities would arise at the same time. He reiterated that Microsoft, under pressure to trim costs amid a global recession, would stick to its research budget this year.

"We will invest a record $9 billion in R&D ... spend a billion more than last year," Turner said, adding Internet-based applications -- so called cloud computing -- would be a major field for Microsoft's investment.

The current macroeconomic climate was the most challenging most people had ever seen in their lifetime, Turner said.

"We believe while this may be a once in a lifetime event it may also be a once in a lifetime opportunity to create new business models," Turner said.

(Reporting by Nicola Leske; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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