Microsoft Responsible For Nearly Half of IT Jobs

A study sponsored by the software giant found global IT spending will top $1.24 trillion in 2007, thanks in large part to itself.

A Microsoft study this week found that the software giant is responsible for generating nearly one out of every two IT jobs worldwide.

The study, conducted on behalf of Microsoft by researcher IDC, examined global IT spending and concluded that the company's "ecosystem" of employees and partners will account for some 42 percent of all IT employment worldwide in 2007.

"The research predicts that in 2007, Microsoft-related activities are responsible for 14.7 million jobs from an IT industry total of 35.2 million people," according to a Microsoft statement accompanying the report. The company has about 640,000 partners worldwide, it said.

The IDC study looked at IT spending in 82 countries and regions around the world, which together account for 99.5 percent of all IT spending. It found that global IT spending would come in at a massive $1.24 trillion this year, representing 2.5 percent of average gross domestic product (GDP).

That figure ranges from 3.6 percent of the GDP for Denmark, Singapore, and Sweden to less than 0.5 percent for Nigeria and Pakistan.

In taxes and fees alone, spending due to Microsoft and its global partners should deliver $514 billion this year, IDC said. Of that sum, $203 billion in tax revenues will come in the U.S., while Western Europe and the Asia/Pacific region each will account for $133 billion.

Naturally, some might dispute the findings, since Microsoft itself commissioned IDC to do the research. The news also happens to coincide with continuing scrutiny of the company's business practices from government regulators and local authorities in a number of nations.

Most recently, California and a slew of other U.S. states this week filed a formal request to extend the oversight of Microsoft's 2002 landmark antitrust settlement until 2012.

Even with concerns about Microsoft's business practices looming, IDC claims that with Microsoft leading the IT charge, things are looking rosy indeed for the industry. During the next four years, IT spending will create 7.1 million new jobs and 100,000 new companies, the report said.

IDC also predicted that during the next four years, overall IT spending will grow at 6.1 percent per year, "twice that of the expected growth of gross domestic product worldwide." Additionally, spending on software is growing faster than spending on IT overall: 7.9 percent a year between 2007 and 2011, compared to 6.1 percent for all IT spending, the report said.

Partners will bring in more than $425 billion in gross revenues and will spend $100 billion in research and development costs by the end of the year, the report added. For comparison, Microsoft itself grossed $51 billion in its 2007 fiscal year, which ended June 30.

"The research found that for every $1 that Microsoft earns in 2007, companies working with Microsoft will earn $7.79," the company said.

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