As part of the consolidation of its research and development efforts in Asia, Microsoft announced the decision to make a small change and close its R&D offices in Seoul, South Korea.
The South Korean R&D center will close its doors sometimes in February, and the company will be moving its Asian research and development to Beijing.
Currently there are 21 employees working in the Korean unit who are set to be affected by the shutdown. According to The Korea Herald, 10 of these employees have already received calls to move to Redmond, Washington.
The other 11 are asked to switch to career consulting and recruitment programs or select another department in Seoul. According to a Microsoft official:
“The R&D team was an organization that was under the U.S. headquarters and it also had a direct report line to (Redmond). We believe it will not have much of an impact in our operations here since it did not belong to the Korean branch in the first place.”
The R&D office in Korea was responsible for creating local versions of Microsoft software like Windows and Office up until the year 2000, before Microsoft’s main Redmond office started developing the language packs for software.
The Seoul R&D office after that worked on supporting other Korean businesses with technology.
Microsoft is said to be consolidating its R&D efforts in six locations the world over: Redmond, Silicon Valley, Cambridge, New England, Beijing, and Bangalore.