Microsoft Hong Kong Announces New Community Initiatives in Support of Hong Kong SAR Government’s Technology Goals

HONG KONG, May 10, 2001 — Microsoft today announced the extension of its community programs in Hong Kong to include investment of HK$20 million over the coming 12 months in a range of initiatives supporting the Hong Kong SAR Government’s goals to develop Hong Kong as a center for technology.

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer made the commitment in person to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa at a reception held today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. In keeping with the Government’s aims, the programs comprise both educational and social projects, including the setting up of new training labs at universities, expansion of training programs for academics and teachers, further support for the local software developer community and projects designed to provide access to the benefits of information technology for groups such as seniors and underprivileged young people.

Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa said,
“To meet the challenges of the knowledge-based new economy, we are committed to strengthening our culture of innovation and technology and promoting IT development in Hong Kong. This is important for our sustained economic growth. We in the Government welcome Microsoft’s continued investment in Hong Kong and their emphasis on training the next generation.”

Announcing the investment, Steve Ballmer said,

We at Microsoft welcome the initiative taken by the Hong Kong SAR Government to broaden horizons for Hong Kong’s IT industry and to promote the digital culture. These far-sighted policies are in tune with our .NET vision unveiled last year. We fully support the Government’s goals of expanding training and empowering people through IT, to improve the socio-economic well-being of the people of Hong Kong, and increase the productivity and competitiveness of local businesses and enterprises.

“Microsoft is committed to being a leading player in the IT field in Hong Kong and to participating in key government projects related to the Digital 21 strategy.”
said Mr. Ballmer.
“We also welcome the effective steps taken by the Government to combat software piracy, as protection of intellectual property rights is essential for the development of a healthy IT industry and the promotion of Hong Kong’s leadership role in the knowledge-based economy.”

As part of its increased investment in Hong Kong, Microsoft will work closely with three of Hong Kong’s leading tertiary institutions – Hong Kong University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Hong Kong Polytechnic University – to set up and fund a new Microsoft .NET Development Lab that will provide facilities and resources to train students in the most advanced software technologies. Microsoft will provide the latest versions of many of its leading software programs and will fund the upgrading of the Laboratory’s hardware. World-recognized Microsoft training and certification programs will be conducted and will be integrated into the universities’ curricula.

Microsoft will also extend its Authorized Academic Training Program (AATP) to selected faculty members to enable them to further pass on their expertise to students. In addition to setting up the Microsoft .NET Development Lab, the company will also offer ten Microsoft Technology Scholarships, designed to enable outstanding local students to pursue advanced software development education or research.

In line with the company’s long-term vision of empowering people, Microsoft Hong Kong has and will continue to provide wide-ranging support to groups across the community — small businesses, IT professionals, students, young people and seniors – to improve their skills and reap the benefits of information technology. For example, Microsoft is currently offering Microsoft Certified Professional training to teachers from 15 local secondary schools so that they can have the skill sets to train up their students during the coming summer holiday.

“We want to ensure that everyone has the chance to get access to technology in this knowledge-based New Economy. Apart from the various programs we organized throughout the year bringing software knowledge to hospitalized children, homeless youths, seniors and handicapped people, Microsoft Hong Kong is now working along with the Education Department and other government organizations offering software support for secondary school students who face financial difficulties,”
said Graham Brant, general manager of Microsoft Hong Kong.
“We are committed to working together with the Hong Kong SAR Government to bridge the digital divide and drive toward the eventual goal of ensuring information and technology access for everyone in Hong Kong. This access is absolutely critical for the advancement of our society, of industry and technology.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device. The Microsoft Hong Kong office was established in 1991.

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