Microsoft Corporation has hired 14 researchers from Yahoo! including Duncan Watts. Microsoft plans to open a research lab in New York and place several of the researchers there including algorithmic economist David Pennock, who will oversee day-to-day lab operations. Machine learning researcher John Langford will also join.
Microsoft’s research and development division employs 850 PhDs and New York City will be there 13th global office. The hires happened after Yahoo! made massive layoffs last month.
Watts will be working with data from Microsoft Xbox, Hotmail, MSN Messenger, and Skype for research projects like network structure and group performance. Duncan also pointed out that Microsoft’s partnership with Twitter and Facebook will enable extensive data access as well.
Currently there is not a research office in New York yet so the researchers are working out of the sales office.