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The "18 months and you're out" policy for contractors seems kind of stupid. After 18 months, those contractors have acquired a lot of knowledge that new contractors won't. Which means, you're going to be spending a lot time training new people just because of a policy that doesn't allow a contractor to say longer than 18 months.

In a previous job, I was a contractor brought on for a 3 month contract (that lasted about 3 years overall). I didn't feel like I was really competent / confident with the work there for the first 6 weeks (i.e., about half of my stated contract term), and that was a company significantly smaller than Microsoft. I could see this being a bad thing for Microsoft.

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