Microsoft working on hiking computing penetration in India

August 12th, 2008 - 6:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Aug 12 (IANS) Microsoft, the world’s largest software developer, is now focusing on developing innovative tools to expand computing penetration in India and other emerging markets, a top company official said here Tuesday. “There are only 1.1 billion PCs deployed around the world and we see a huge opportunity in this area,” S. Somasegar, senior vice president of Microsoft’s developer division, told a media conference held here to mark completion of 10 years of its Indian operations Tuesday.

The emerging markets group at Microsoft India Development Center (MSIDC), the company’s largest development centre outside its Redmond headquarters in US, is focussing on expanding computing penetration in India and elsewhere through personal computers, mobile phones, television and other devices.

“We are focussing on how innovation can make computing more effective and how technology can become more accessible to people,” he said.

“Affordability, desirability, relevance, ease of use and local language interface are the key drivers of computing penetration in emerging markets, and we are innovating around these drivers on PC, mobile and TV,” said Srini Koppolu, corporate vice president and managing director, MSIDC.

MSIDC marked the completion of 10 years of operations by inaugurating a new building on its sprawling campus at Gacchibowli here.

The software giant, which made an humble beginning with 20 people this day in 1998, now has 1,500 employees in its India arm. They are now contributing to innovation and product development for global customers, company officials said.

“MSIDC employees have made a very significant impact because the innovative software products that they develop touch the lives of millions around the world,” said Microsoft chairman Bill Gates in a recorded video message played at a function here to mark the occasion.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy inaugurated the third building of MSIDC on the 54-acre campus. The new building, with an office space of over 600,000 square feet, can house more than 2,000 employees.

On the occasion, he said that for a world-class company it was a challenge to set up operations in a developing country and Microsoft had taken up this challenge. “Microsoft and companies like it have found Andhra Pradesh a place to grow,” he said.

MSIDC filed 220 patents during the last four years and has end-to-end responsibility for more than 50 major Microsoft products, features and technologies.

Koppolu said setting up MSIDC was a significant challenge, as it was the first major attempt at distributed development by Microsoft which has predominantly remained Redmond-centric with regard to product development.

He said MSIDC which had 70 different initiatives two years ago had gone through a consolidation process to focus on just 20 clear missions now.

“We are transforming MSIDC to focus on six key domains - developer tools, mobile, data, business applications, windows and live,” he said.

Regarding mobile phone-based products and services, he said: “A 300-member strong team is working in this segment and has already developed some innovative products.”

The key products developed completely out of MSIDC include data protection manager 2007, visual studio for devices, Jscript, Microsoft BizTalk RFID and virtual PC 2007.

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