Microsoft’s New Investments Define Deepening India Commitment

New Delhi, Nov. 12, 2002 — On his third visit to India, Bill Gates, Chairman and Chief Software Architect, Microsoft Corporation articulated Microsoft’s mission of Realizing Potential in the Digital Decade and its relevance for India. He shared details on the company’s plans towards enabling its partners, customers and the community at large leverage IT to benefit them in their work and lives. Bill Gates also announced that Microsoft would be deepening its India commitment by making investments of approximately US$400 million over the next three years in several aspects of its India business including education, partnerships, innovation, localization, and the Development Center.

“As we enter the Digital Decade the opportunities before us to drive innovation are immense. This presents a unique role for the Government of India to create a vibrant knowledge based economy that encourages innovation and is built on deep partnerships with local software organizations, developers and companies like Microsoft,”
said Bill Gates, Chairman & Chief Software Architect, Microsoft Corporation.
“By advancing the frontiers of technology and breaking down language barriers, we are presenting an opportunity for individuals to leverage software to access information and communicate in ways that will enrich their lives and businesses.”

The announcements made by Microsoft today include Project
which is focused on delivering access to technology in education, the Partnering with India Program, local language interface for Office and Windows XP and the continued investments in the India Development Center.

aims to accelerate computer literacy by providing an end to end solution which includes software solutions, comprehensive training for teachers and students, IT curriculum development, and scholarships for teachers and students across India. Over 80,000 school teachers and 3.5 million students across government schools will have an opportunity to strengthen their IT proficiency via the initiative over the next five years. Microsoft plans to set up 10 Microsoft IT Academy Centres in partnership with state education departments in addition to collaborating with over 2000 partner-driven school labs. Microsoft will also be sponsoring teacher and student scholarships to recognize teachers committed to delivering effective IT education, and students for driving innovation through technology. As a part of its commitment to this initiative, Microsoft will set up a dedicated team to focus on this effort.

“Partnering with India”
program is geared towards investing in skills development & .NET readiness of Microsoft’s Indian Partners to enable them to leverage global opportunities. Microsoft will also work with Indian IT companies to develop .NET ready solutions and devise go-to-market strategies to offer these solutions in the global market. The Partnering with India program will also provide increased opportunities for Microsoft and its partners in India to work together to share skills and expertise with the Product development groups, the Product Support Services and the Business unit IT groups.

Microsoft is excited to play its part in access to information and technology throughout the community via the availability of key Microsoft products in local languages. Towards this, Microsoft today announced that it would be making available Hindi language interface of Microsoft Windows XP and next the version of Microsoft®
Office, code-named

Office 11. In addition, Microsoft will work with local partners to extend Windows XP language support to include Bengali and Malayalam, thereby taking the total number of languages supported by Windows XP to 11. These are Hindi, Sanskrit, Konkani, Marathi, Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam, Gurmukhi, Telugu, Kannada, and Gujarati. This extensive language support will allow application providers to build applications in local languages hereby extending computing to the masses and helping Microsoft realize its vision of bridging the digital divide.

“The emergence of India’s IT industry as a global player is testament to the country’s commitment to technology development and innovation. Today, India is of strategic importance to our business and will continue to be so as its developer and skill base continues to grow. Today, an increasing number of .NET projects across the globe are being developed by talented Indian companies; the Indian developer community is creating next generation .NET technologies and India’s rich pool of skilled IT professionals are servicing customers across the world,”
said Bill Gates.

Elaborating on the announcement, Rajiv Kaul, Managing Director, Microsoft Corporation India Ltd said
“To help India realize its potential in the digital decade will require strong industry partnerships. We are excited to kick start this with the huge investments announced today. This will go a long way in empowering all communities including customers, partners, academicians and developers.”

About Microsoft

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.

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