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RealTime IT News

Microsoft to Invest in India

It's been a busy week for Microsoft.

After glitzy launch events for its new Windows XP Tablet PC Edition in Hong Kong and the U.S., Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates made a stop in India, pledging to spend $400 million on software and business develop over the next three years.

In a news conference in New Delhi during his visit to India, Gates said the major points of its strategy will be to focus on areas information technology education, increased research and development staffing, and the development of software for the local market.

Gates' four-day visit to India, which is expected to include meetings with Information Technology Minister Pramod Mahajan and Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, represents his third visit to the region -- an area ever increasing in value for Microsoft.

In the latest edition of BusinessWorld, the regional magazine explains that Microsoft battle against Linux and the open source movement has spilled over into India.

"Look around. There are noises being made about how proactively the government is considering Linux. The Supreme Court has a few pilot projects underway. So have High Courts in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The Central Excise Department has moved 1,000 desktops to Linux. The Delhi Road Transport Office (RTO) has implemented a pilot to examine its viability. C-DAC, the government's supercomputing arm, has moved lock, stock and barrel to Linux," the magazine wrote in its cover story.

Yet, despite the increasing worth the region represents, Microsoft made it abundantly clear that it has no plans to take investment stakes in the local software companies.

"At this point, we aren't contemplating an investment," Gates was quoted as saying.