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Microsoft adding 1,500 as part of hiring drive

Software giant Microsoft Corp. is hiring 1,500 sales staff to promote its programs directly to corporate customers, Chief Financial Officer John Connors said on Friday.

"If you think about how will we sell in volume to both large and small accounts, we are basically increasing our investment in our enterprise sales force pretty substantially in this fiscal year," Connors told investors at a meeting in New York monitored by Webcast.

The world' No. 1 software group, which has traditionally sold its software through resellers, original equipment manufacturers and retailers, said last July that it would boost its staffing by 10 percent to a total of about 55,000 employees by June of 2003, the end of Microsoft's current fiscal year.

"The sales organization got approval for about 1,500 new heads targeted at accounts that we directly manage -- that is accounts that we primarily sell into, versus resellers or partners selling into," Connors said.

Connors said that 45 to 65 percent of the sales positions were already filled, adding that Microsoft was attracting "quality talent" because of the downturn in the technology industry that has cut into jobs and salaries.

Microsoft's products for companies, which not only include software for desktop personal computers but server software for managing computer networks, are facing stiffer competition as companies seek to lower costs.

News source: Reuters

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