A couple more notes on Microsoft before we get to our big year-in-review / 2009 forecast post tomorrow.
First off, for those that didn’t catch it, this is worth mentioning: Microsoft forgoes South Lake Union lease
Microsoft Corp. has put on hold any interest in further expanding its operations in Seattle because of the deteriorating economy, a spokesman said Tuesday.
For months, the company had been considered to be in the market for additional real estate in the city, and Microsoft had been in negotiations to lease all 300,000 square feet of office space at 2201 Westlake, a mixed-use development under construction at the southwest corner of Westlake Avenue North and Denny Way.
But spokesman Lou Gellos said in a statement that the company “decided not to continue negotiations because of the (national) economic situation and the changing market conditions.”
The loss for now of Microsoft as a potential tenant will put additional downward pressure on office rental rates in Seattle, according to Kip Spencer, the co-founder of OfficeSpace.com and an executive at JE Dunn Construction Co.
2009 looks to be a great year to get a steal on downtown and South Lake Union office rents, if your company is looking to move or expand. Tons of supply with rapidly shrinking demand = great deals, just like residential real estate. Go figure.
Also, revisiting the whole layoffs rumor, I thought I would share this tip from an anonymous Microsoft insider:
…there will indeed be some layoffs at Microsoft, but not nearly to the degree of the rumors we’re heard so far. It will be more along the lines of the standard “repurposing” of jobs they do periodically, and some much needed belt tightening. … Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if MSN, Windows Mobile, or Internet Explorer got some deep cuts, but that’s just my opinion – nothing was specifically said about them from my manager.
That sounds pretty much along the lines of the less sensationalist reports we’ve been reading elsewhere, and sounds more believable. Also, for what it’s worth, I know that some departments at MS are actually still hiring, because a friend of mine has an interview with the Xbox group this week.