RealTime IT News

Microsoft Plans Another $1.7B For India

Microsoft is putting more resources into India in hopes of getting more software in return.

The world's largest software company will invest $1.7 billion in India over the next four years and add another 3,000 workers, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates announced today in New Delhi.

Gates, in the second day of a four-day trip to the emerging South Asian country, said the money will be used to expand research and development efforts.

Microsoft already has seven offices in India and sees great potential there as an R&D hub, as well as a market for its software. The company will also reportedly release versions of its Windows operating system in nine Indian languages in a bid to gain larger market share there.

By 2008, India's software industry will employ 4 million people and will account for 8 percent of its gross domestic product and 30 percent of foreign exchange earnings, according to the National Association of Software and Service Companies of India.

The $1.7 billion investment is the second piece of news from Gates's passage to India. On Tuesday he outlined a plan to open a new research and development center in the tech-heavy Bangalore as part of a larger worldwide R&D push.

Also in India this week, Gates will meet with government officials, business leaders and programmers. He will be in Bangalore on Friday to lead a Webcast for the India launch of SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006.

Other IT bellwethers are boosting their presence in India. Earlier this week, Intel Chairman Craig Barrett announced $1 billion in R&D and venture capital investments over the next five years.