Valley Salaries Rebound; Game Layoffs [Roundup]

Dice News RoundupSilicon Valley Salaries Rebound: The Dice Annual Salary Survey found Silicon Valley-based tech workers received a 5 percent year-on-year increase, from an average $99,028 to an average $104,195. That cracks six figures for the first time since the survey began about a decade ago. The results underscore the strong hiring environment for tech talent in the Valley. Companies are stepping up to the plate with other incentives as well. Bonuses are both fatter and more frequent, with 38 percent of tech professionals receiving average bonuses of $12,450. That compares to 35 percent and $11,050 from the year before. Dice

EA Will Lay Off Up to 1,000: Game publisher Electronic Arts will lay off between 500 and 1,000 people, but it’s talking about hiring at the same time. In a statement, the company said it’s “growing and looking to hire hundreds of people for our digital, console, mobile and social games. Like all game companies, we make occasional adjustments to resize teams as projects are completed and new priorities are established. Overall, we expect that headcount will be up at the end of this year.” Dice

Other Layoffs in Gaming: Both Sony and THQ plan layoffs in some of their gaming divisions. After 18 years, Sony is shuttering Zipper, known for its bestselling SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs franchise, which has sold over 12 million units. It’s unclear whether any of the company’s 80 employees will be transferred to other Sony units. Sony says the layoff is part of a broader downsizing of 205 employees in a normal cycle of resource re-alignment. THQ says it’s laying off 118 employees from Vigil Games and Relic Entertainment. Vigil will cut 79 people from its 180-person team. Another 39 layoffs will come from Relic. Dice

Microsoft Will Offer Three Flavors of Windows 8: The company unveiled Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows 8 RT. Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro will work on x86 PCs and tablets (both 32 and 64-bit). In addition to core features like touch screen support, they’ll include an updated Windows Explorer, Task Manager, better multi-monitor support and the ability to switch languages on the fly. Windows 8 is really for consumer use, while Windows 8 Pro is for tech enthusiasts and professionals. Windows RT will only be available pre-installed on ARM-powered PCs and tablets. It will offer touch-optimized desktop versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, and allow for app development on the new Windows runtime. Dice

Facebook’s IPO Could Be Just Weeks Away: Mark May 17 on your calendar. That appears to be the day that Facebook will launch its IPO, assuming it can get all its paperwork in order. Information gleaned from the company’s recent Instagram purchase suggests that Facebook, which will attempt to raise $10 billion, will have a $100 billion valuation, about half of Google’s market cap and significantly less than Microsoft’s $260 billion market cap. To achieve that valuation, shares will have to sell for around $40. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth could approach $25 billion. TechCrunch

Big Data Center but Little Impact on Jobs: Apple’s second large data center, being built in Prineville, Ore., comes with an actual numerical guarantee of local jobs. In response to the local community voting to provide tax breaks for the project, Apple released a statement in which it promised to invest no less than $350 million — but hire just 35 permanent employees. In a 10,000 square foot modular data center, the need for skilled technicians is minimal. It may turn out that there are only a half-dozen skilled technical jobs at the location. ZDNet

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