Sun Microsystems is scaling down its US programming team and doubling the number of programmers it employs in India to 2,000, and expanding other offshore centres.
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Other jobs will go to existing research and development centres in Beijing, which already employs around 1,000, and St Petersburg and Prague.
Sun has not revealed the new headcounts for these three centres, although it maintains it will not be closing down its Santa Clara R&D operation.
The hardware and software company confirmed that the low cost of employing staff in the other four countries was a reason for the switch.
Sun added that it also wanted its software development to take place nearer important developing markets like India and China.
Sun recently outsourced its internal IT operation to CSC in a £195m deal.
Sun has slashed around 13,000 jobs in the last four years. Its headcount now stands at about 30,000.