[Missed this last week in Europe] Microsoft is opening an R&D shop here in Vancouver, and they’re doing it specifically because of immigration issues. News Flash: Most of the really smart people in the world aren’t Americans and don’t live in the U.S. But if you want to gather a bunch of them together to take on hard problems, you probably can’t do it in America because of US immigration law. Canada looks like a good alternative: if you’ve got an established business willing you to hire you for a technology job at a decent salary, you can get a temporary-worker visa here pretty well right away. (Furthermore, if you like it and don’t commit any major crimes, you can then arrange to stay and become a citizen.)
Canada’s a good place to build technology. It’s a good place to live. It’s an easy place to get into. Microsoft isn’t stupid. I think this is a big deal.