BEIJING, Nov. 4, 1998 — Chinese government officials and leaders from prominent Chinese research institutions were present today as Microsoft Corp. announced Microsoft® Research, China, the company’s second international research lab. The company plans to invest an estimated $80 million (U.S.) into the new Beijing facility over the next six years.
“Microsoft Research has a vision for the future of computing that’s focused on making technology to improve people’s lives and enable them to do things they couldn’t do before,”
said Rick Rashid, Ph. D., vice president of Microsoft Research.
“China is the most populous country in the world, and the use of computers there is growing rapidly. To make the experience compelling, we need to address many challenges to adapt computing and software to the Chinese marketplace. We believe it’s important the industry invests in finding solutions that can help overcome these challenges.”
“Human talent and vision often shape the crux of development and progress in information technology, especially software technology,”
said Wu Jichuan, minister of the ministry of information industry in China.
“We are pleased to endorse world-renowned companies such as Microsoft in setting up research centers in China to engage in cutting-edge research that will not only accelerate China’s IT development pace, but will also help groom the scientific talent pool worldwide.”
Microsoft Research, China is Microsoft’s first research facility in Asia and another example of the company’s continued commitment to funding basic computer science research. Kai-Fu Lee, Ph.D., who is known for his pioneering work in speech recognition, artificial intelligence, 3-D graphics and Internet multimedia, will lead the research efforts in the new lab. The center currently has five employees, and plans to grow to 100 over the next few years.
“One of Microsoft’s primary goals for funding research is to invent solutions that will improve the computing experience,”
said Kai-Fu Lee.
“Long-term, we want to enable computers to see, listen, speak and learn. By focusing our research efforts in Beijing on areas like speech, vision, graphics, natural language and multimedia technologies, we hope we can bring these improvements to the Chinese computing experience.”
Microsoft Research, China will work closely with the Chinese government, local universities and research institutes to support China in its development of a strong IT industry. The company hopes to build on China’s continued efforts to attract and retain research talent in the country.
“Microsoft’s significant investment in China and in basic computer science research highlights its long-term vision and strategic foresight,”
said Professor Wang Xuan, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and member of the Standing Committee of Chinese People’s Congress.
As more foreign companies enter China, their basic research and application development efforts will help enhance the country’s overall strength in research as well as benefit our efforts to educate and maintain talent.”
Founded in 1991, Microsoft Research is dedicated to conducting basic research in computer science and software engineering. The goal is to develop new technologies to simplify and enhance the user’s PC experience, reduce the cost of writing and maintaining software, and
facilitate the creation of new types of software. Microsoft Research started with a handful of researchers in Redmond, Wash., and has grown to include more than 300 staff members focused on a wide variety of areas including speech technology, databases, user interface and 3-D graphics. There are currently research labs in San Francisco; Cambridge, England; and Beijing.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
Microsoft is either a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
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