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.

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