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Thu, Dec 02, 2004 - Page 12 News List

Microsoft going macro in India with research facility

AP , SEATTLE

Microsoft Corp. is further expanding its presence in India with plans to open a research center in Bangalore.

The latest Microsoft Research campus will open next month, the Washington-based software giant said on Tuesday. The researchers in India will focus on ways to create, store and search information in multiple languages, as well as technology for use in emerging markets and other specialties.

Microsoft already operates research campuses in Beijing; Cambridge, England; Redmond; San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

The company decided to add an Indian campus to take advantage of promising computer science students coming out of universities there, said Rick Rashid, a vice president in charge of Microsoft Research. The company hopes to hire a couple dozen researchers over the next year, he said.

The Microsoft Research campuses, modeled after academic research facilities, do work that is relevant to Microsoft's product lineup, such as security or search technology. Products including the TabletPC have come out of the research arm.

But researchers also are encouraged to work on far-flung ideas that may never turn into profitable products, like tools for developing HIV vaccines.

The new center will be headed by P. Anandan, previously a senior researcher at Microsoft's Redmond campus. Anandan, a native of India, said in a statement that the country's many languages, plus the fact that most of its more than 1 billion residents have no Internet access, make it a good backdrop for researching some of computer science's most challenging problems.

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