Microsoft has announced that it plans to open a new research facility away from the traditional Silicon Valley location and instead set up shop in New York City - continuing a trend of more urban development within the tech industry.
Set to open up with a small workforce of just 15, the new facility will be focused on developing computing tools that deal with the social sciences. Many of the new team members are moving over from Yahoo! Research to take up this position.
Team leader, Jennifer Chayes, a mathematical physicst, explained to NYT why Microsoft chose the city location for its new research centre. She said that universities and Silicon Valley have contributed to a massive "groundswell of technology in New York. And we want to be in the places around the world where there is great science and technology."
She backed up this statement on her blog, saying that: "New York City recently has dedicated itself to becoming a leader in technological innovation and entrepreneurship. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has launched an Applied Sciences NYC initiative, seeking to infuse New York's economy with collaborative research between universities and businesses to spur economic growth."
This makes for an excellent environment to research future technologies in she said. It also makes sense to diversify. Not everyone is going to feel comfortable in traditional tech focused locales, some love a good city. Smog and all.