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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 December 2005, 10:26 GMT
Microsoft invests $1.7bn in India
Bill Gates
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates sees huge potential in India
The US software giant Microsoft has unveiled plans to invest $1.7bn (981m) in India over the next four years.

The company said it would create 3,000 new jobs in the country and pump more money into research and development.

Microsoft is keen to expand its operations in India, a country where well-trained workers are available at a fraction of what they cost in the West.

On Monday, the world's largest chipmaker Intel announced plans to invest $1bn in India.

Intel said it planned to substantially boost research and development in the country over the next five years.

'Strategic vision'

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said the company wanted to increase its workforce in India to "7,000 over the next three to four years".

He said the $1.7bn investment "would be deployed across select focus areas over the next four years in line with Microsoft's strategic vision for India".

India's Information Technology minister Dayanidhi Maran said news of the investment was "an indicator of the value that Microsoft attaches to its development and R&D activities in the country".

Microsoft currently outsources a number of services to India

Earlier this year, the company opened a research centre in India's southern city of Hyderabad.

Microsoft plans to open an innovation centre in India's technology hub Bangalore next month.

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