Microsoft keen to expand Indian R&D

Microsoft keen to expand Indian R&D


Mumbai: IT giant Microsoft, is keen to expand its Indian R&D platform and plans investments to bolster its research operations in the country, a top Microsoft official said.

“Yes, we are certainly looking at possibilities to expand our R&D (Research and development) platform (in India)," Microsoft TV’s vice president (Global Sales), John Walthall, said.

The official, however, did not divulge the quantum of investment, if any, in the country for the purpose. Microsoft, which spends nearly $7 billion annually for product innovation and research, is already present in the country with two research centres--in Hyderabad and Bangalore.

The Hyderabad centre, established as early as 1998 and known as Microsoft India Development Center (MIDC), has nearly 1,400 developers, who are working on more than 50 different Microsoft projects.

Though Microsoft officials would not offer any comment, it is understood that the centre has filed 180 patents in the last three years.The Bangalore centre was established in 2005.

Microsoft, which on 5 November joined hands with Anil Ambani-spearheaded Reliance Communications to deliver IPTV services in India, has its core research division headquartered in the US.

The $500 million, eight year contract, between Microsoft and the Indian blue-chip, entails the use of the former’s technology in Reliance’s IPTV project.

Presently, state-run Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) and private sector player, Bharti Airtel, have launched IPTV services in the country. Walthall, however, expressed confidence about the tie-up with Reliance Communications and said, “I don’t see any big challenges from these competitors."