Microsoft Hong Kong Company Backgrounder
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. The company was founded as a partnership on April 4, 1975, by William H. Gates III and Paul G. Allen, and incorporated on June 25, 1981.
Software plus web-centric services have become an integral part of the way people work, live, learn and communicate today. Microsoft is motivated and inspired every day by how our customers use our software to find creative solutions to business problems, develop breakthrough ideas and stay connected to what’s most important to them. 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. These include operating systems for personal computers and networks, server applications for client/server environments, business and consumer productivity applications, interactive media programs and Internet platform and development tools. Microsoft also offers online services and entertainment and hardware devices.
Global Vision. Local Commitment.
Microsoft products are available in more than 140 languages and 107 countries and regions, meeting the needs of consumers and organizations worldwide. Microsoft currently employs more than 94,000 people worldwide. Our long-term investment strategy in developing markets and close working relationships with local developers and partners helps us bring leading innovations to local marketplaces.
Microsoft set up its office in Hong Kong in 1991 to better serve customers in this region, and the number of Hong Kong-based employees now exceeds 300. Heading the Hong Kong operation is Cally Chan, General Manager, Microsoft Hong Kong Limited. Microsoft Hong Kong is structured in several business groups focusing on enterprise customers, small businesses, home users, platforms, developers, partners and services, dedicated to bringing the most innovative technological solutions, technical know-how and service support from the corporation to different customer segments in the local market.
Our Citizenship Efforts
Microsoft began establishing deep roots in Hong Kong in 1991. Through constant innovation in technologies and in growing our partner ecosystem locally, we help Hong Kong people and businesses realize their potential, and advance the competitiveness of the city. Our commitment to our responsibility as a corporate citizen is demonstrated through our Unlimited Potential program. This program takes a three-pronged approach – improving education, fostering innovation and creating jobs and opportunities – towards building a knowledge economy where everyone has equal access to technology and opportunities. Our ultimate goal is to contribute to sustaining Hong Kong’s economic development, meet its long-term education objectives and enhance social harmony by narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor. Microsoft is committed to working closely with businesses, communities and governments to meet these goals.
Microsoft now supports over 2,600 software and services vendors in Hong Kong. This Microsoft-centric partner ecosystem generates around 54,000 jobs, constituting more than 43% of local IT employment. Every HK$1 of Microsoft revenue translates into HK$16.32 in revenue for our partners in the ecosystem.
For the most current information on Microsoft’s all-round support for the Hong Kong community, see our citizenship site at http://www.microsoft.com/en-hk/sparkhk .
Strong Focus on Research and Innovation
Microsoft’s commitment to constant innovation is reflected in its ongoing investment in research and development. The company is spending more than US$9 billion annually to develop innovative solutions to the technology issues of today and tomorrow. Through the Microsoft Research group, the company is exploring new worlds of software technology and advancing the frontiers of user-interface design, speech and language processing, and digital media. Academic collaboration with universities in Hong Kong has been ongoing since 1999. The scope includes research labs and collaboration, curriculum innovation, talent fostering and other forms of academic exchange. In the past decade, close to 100 students from Hong Kong have interned at Microsoft Research Asia’s research labs in the Mainland.
Building Human Capital
People are our most important asset. Our corporate culture nurtures an atmosphere in which creative thinking thrives and employees can develop to their fullest potential. The high value we place on people extends well beyond the company. We believe that by providing training and tools, we can partner to create social and economic opportunities that can transform communities and enable people to accomplish great things. The company is proud to partner with non-profit organizations to support community-based programs, including 40 community technology learning centers, to promote equal access to technology, thus building an inclusive knowledge economy. Microsoft also supports its employee volunteer team (VCare) to help the needy in our society and enlighten their lives through voluntary work and technology.
As an industry leader, we also recognize our responsibility to offer trustworthy computing and adhere to responsible business practices. Microsoft strives to deliver secure, private, and reliable computing experiences for everyone. In order for people to fully realize the potential of technology and the Internet, it is essential that they are able to trust that technology. At Microsoft, we are committed to deepening the trust of customers, partners, governments and communities by demonstrating that we operate with integrity in everything we do. We strive to meet or exceed our legal, regulatory and ethical responsibilities and to hire and reward employees who share our values and adhere to our Standards of Business Conduct.
Strengthening Hong Kong as a Leading Digital Hub
In October 2002, Microsoft moved its entire Hong Kong operation into Cyberport, the first major corporation to be located there. Microsoft believes that Cyberport is an important step toward Hong Kong creating its own IT ecosystem where diverse but interdependent companies can thrive. In July 2007, the company announced that it will step up its investment in Hong Kong and expand the size of its office by 70 per cent to a total floor area of almost 80,000 square feet at Cyberport to accommodate future business growth. This increased involvement demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to investing in Hong Kong, helping build its reputation as a world-class digital city and contributing to its long term prosperity and competitiveness.