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.

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  • Rex

    Where MS really needs to make changes in Asia is in Japan. I suggest they fire the whole management apparatus and start over. Japan office of MS seems to have completely thown in the towel. They were the first in the world to have a Windows 7.5 phone and then they just stopped. The phone recieved so little support that I dont think it broke the .001% marketshare. I spend lots of time on crowded trains and I think I have seen it a total of maybe 5 times in the wild (the color sticks out so you cant miss it when you see it). Several carriers were planning to support Windows Phone 8, but changed their minds since they recieved no support from MS. MS appears to have conceded that it would have dificulty in the market and just said forget it. With its defeatist attitude, it has assured itself defeat. Makes me really angry because I would love to get a Windows 8 phone.