Wed, Dec 01, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Microsoft celebrates 15 years in Taiwan


Software giant Microsoft Corp yesterday celebrated its 15th anniversary in Taiwan, vowing to continue to grow in this market by cultivating more local talent, company officials said yesterday.

"Over the past 15 years, we've worked closely with local business partners to develop advanced technology and establish industry standards," Eunice Chiu (邱麗孟), general manager of Microsoft Taiwan, said during a celebration ceremony yesterday.

"The efforts have paid off, as Taiwan now plays an important role in the world's information technology industry," she said.

Microsoft announced early this year that it planned to invest NT$15 million to exploit talent from universities, as well as provide training and internships for college students.

Another of Microsoft's achievements has been to upgrade the nation's IT infrastructure and provide solutions to customers via the Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) in Taiwan, which was launched last year, said Joe Chou (邱爵榮), consultant at the center.

Microsoft built its fifth technology center in Taiwan, with investment of NT$550 million three years after it was inaugurated. Through it, the company hopes to deliver over 100 software solutions to 70 companies in Taiwan and create an output value of NT$4 billion.

One project the center has participated in is an online booking system for the government's "e-government" initiative, Chou said. With the system, consumers can book hotels, train and long-haul bus tickets on the Internet.

The major difference between the system and those used by private travel agencies is that the system is able to incorporate all information and propose the most convenient travel routes or schedule, according to Chou.

For example, users inserting "Kenting" in the search box will get results for hotel availability, as well as suggested train and local bus schedules, he said.

In addition, Microsoft will also test the waters in the online music sector through a download service with iBIZ Entertainment Technology Corp's (艾比茲娛樂科技) iMusic, an online music distributor that has obtained the legal copyright from record labels, according to Ann Teng (鄧安安), a pubic relations manager at Microsoft Taiwan.

Microsoft Taiwan announced that the Chinese version of its Media Player 10, audio-video software that can burn music files to CDs along with other features, will be officially available for download starting this week, during the IT Month computer trade show, which starts on Saturday in Taipei.

"Although the market in Taiwan is captured by P2P [peer-to-peer] operators now ... the product will be a platform for us to tap the digital music market." Teng said.

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