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The BBC's Daniel Lak
"Indian politicians and business leaders just can't get enough of the man from Microsoft"
 real 56k

Thursday, 14 September, 2000, 12:42 GMT 13:42 UK
Microsoft announces India deal
Bill Gates, right, and NR Narayana Murthy
The tie-up failed to enthuse the stock market
Microsoft and Indian software giant Infosys Technologies have announced a strategic global alliance to develop e-business projects.


We realise that the destinies of the two companies have a lot in common

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates
The alliance will bring together Infosys's business solutions and enterprise services to Microsoft's Net Enterprise Server platform.

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said the tie-up was "significant" and an example of "how far both the companies have come".

However, the announcement failed to impress the stock market where the price of Infosys shares fell by more than two per cent.

A stock analyst ascribed this to the absence of financial details in the deal.

Computer programmers
Infosys is India's leading IT company
"The market tends to look for these hard core numbers and could ignore the qualitative and long-term benefits of the relationship," Ketan Jhaveri of Kotak Securities told Reuters news agency.

Infosys shares had risen nearly 41% since early August on reports of the impending tie-up with Microsoft.

Business solutions

Following their tie-up, the two companies will be developing software solutions in areas such as e-commerce, financial services, insurance and retail.

The two companies will also undertake joint marketing initiatives and account planning.


We believe that this relationship will expand our Fortune 1000 client-base

Infosys chairman NR Narayana Murthy
"We are going to be in the days ahead talking on specific customers and specific projects," Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said.

Mr Gates is on a two-day visit to India to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the company's India operations.

Delighted

Infosys chairman NR Narayana Murthy said he was "delighted" with the tie-up.

"We believe that this relationship will expand our Fortune 1000 client-base," he said.

Formed in 1981, Infosys is India's leading infotech companies worth about $200m.

It employs more than 5,500 software professionals and was listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange last year.

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See also:

09 Jul 99 | South Asia
Profit boost for software leader
17 Mar 00 | South Asia
India's high-tech hopes
13 Mar 00 | South Asia
Murdoch eyes 'cyber' Bangalore
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