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Microsoft to set up Innovation Centre in Bangalore

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The Microsoft Chairman, Mr Bill Gates, calling on the Minister for IT and Communication, Mr Dayanidhi Maran, in New Delhi on Tuesday. — R.V. Moorthy

New Delhi , Dec 6

COINCIDING with the visit of the Microsoft Chairman, Mr Bill Gates, to India, the software company today announced plans to set up an `Innovation Centre' in Bangalore by January 2006, as part of a proposed network of 90 such centres across the world.

Speaking to reporters here, the Microsoft Corporate Vice-President (Worldwide Public Sector), Ms Gerri Elliott, said the Microsoft Innovation Centres (MICs) would offer facilities and resources for students, professional developers, architects, IT professionals and researchers. Hands-on labs and other programmes would focus on technical and business skills development, and spur advances in 64-bit architecture, Windows Vista development and application design.

Microsoft would operate these centres in partnership with local governments, academic institutions, industry and software vendors. The company, however, did not disclose investment details or the number of employees likely to be hired for the Bangalore innovation centre. Ms Elliott said the Bangalore centre would start off solo but Microsoft would rope in partners in the future.

Microsoft currently has 60 innovation centres worldwide, in places such as Brazil, Germany, Malaysia, China, Australia and Japan. The additional 30 centres would be located in countries such as Korea, South Africa and India, thus completing the global network.

Microsoft also announced that an Indian Computer Emergency Response Team would join the Security Cooperation Programme. The company said it would also launch multilingual Windows XP Starter Edition supporting a variety of Indian languages and English in the first quarter next year. On Windows XP Starter Edition, she said there was demand for a launch in English.

The Starter edition is currently available in Hindi and Tamil. "The English version of the operating system will be only for India," she added.

Related Stories:
`India very high on Microsoft priorities' — Bill Gates coming next week

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