Here’s another interesting tidbit from Microsoft’s Form 10-K filing with the SEC: The company reports that its internal ranks of product support and consulting services employees swelled to 21,000 people — an increase of 3,000 people or 17 percent in that category when compared to last year’s filing.
The increase came as Microsoft released Windows 8, which introduced a radical overhaul to the Windows user interface, potentially requiring more product support, particularly for corporate customers.
To put this in context, the increase represents more than half of Microsoft’s overall global job growth in its 2013 fiscal year. The company added 4,849 jobs worldwide to reach 99,139 direct employees as of June 30, not including contractors and vendors. The company says it employs about 58,000 people in the U.S. and 41,000 internationally.
Looking back at the data, the 2013 increase in product support and consulting at Microsoft is the largest in this category since 2007, coinciding with the Windows Vista release, which required significant amounts of product support.
Sales and marketing jobs rose by 1,000 people to 26,000 in 2013, and product research and development also climbed by 1,000 to 37,000 people. (Microsoft rounds the numbers to the nearest thousand its regulatory filings.)
Here’s a chart showing the trends across the different job categories reported by the company, with data pulled from Microsoft’s 10-K filings dating back to 2004.