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9/26/2005
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Microsoft To Add Staff, Tune Software For India

Microsoft plans to beef up its operation in India by increasing staff, improving broadband access, and promising versions of Windows XP for different Indian dialects.

Microsoft plans to beef up its operation in India by increasing staff, improving broadband access, and promising versions of Windows XP for different Indian dialects. A meeting at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash., between Bill Gates and top Indian technology official Dayanidhi Maran last week was crowned by an announcement that Gates would visit India before the end of the year.

According to media reports from India Monday, the software giant plans to double its staff at Hyderabad and Bangalore by several hundred employees. The additions are an extension of Microsoft’s $400 million investment plan for India announced in 2002.

The Indian announcement follows a series of Microsoft efforts to boost its presence in China, which leads India in hardware manufacturing, but lags in software and services development.

The company has been working to improve access to lower income Indians in an effort to bridge the digital divide in the country. A low-cost Windows XP Starter Edition was unveiled in June and Microsoft announced after the meeting with Maran that it will release the operating system for nine Indian language dialects as well.

Another effort entails Microsoft working with Indian financial institutions, PC manufacturers, and communications service providers to develop broadband and PC packages at affordable rates for Indians.

The Hyderabad campus is Microsoft’s largest campus operation outside the U.S. and will be a center for improving the company’s operations in India.

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