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Last Updated: Monday, 15 November, 2004, 14:58 GMT
Microsoft signs two Indian deals
Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer opening the firm's new Hyderabad office with Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy
Microsoft is putting renewed emphasis on its Indian operations
Microsoft has signed separate multi-million dollar partnerships with two Indian software firms.

The announcement came as Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer opened the group's new Indian headquarters in the city of Hyderabad.

Its deals with Indian businesses Infosys and Wipro will enable the pair to use Microsoft technologies in forthcoming software products.

Microsoft is expected to double the 1,500 staff it already employs in India.

Linux threat

The deal with Infosys will see both partners invest $8m (4.3m) to develop a portfolio of services for companies, not just in India, but worldwide.

"Our two companies agree that by bringing together complementary assets and skills our clients will benefit from a unique experience of the combined expertise," said Bangalore-based Infosys chief executive Nandan Nilekani.

No financial details were revealed for the Wipro deal.

Microsoft's two Indian partnerships come at a time when it is facing growing competition from rival software product Linux, which can be downloaded for free from the internet.

Microsoft, by contrast, charges a licensing fee.

Mr Ballmer's three-day Indian visit will also see him meet Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and other top government officials in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Microsoft's new Hyderabad centre is its largest outside the US, and it says it will hire hundreds of additional programmers in the coming months.




SEE ALSO:
India's Wipro sees profits surge
15 Oct 04 |  Business
Infosys cashes in on outsourcing
12 Oct 04 |  Business
US demand boosts India's Infosys
13 Jul 04 |  Business
Wipro hit by $60m tax demand
02 Apr 04 |  Business


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