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Microsoft to Set up Shanghai R&D Center
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Microsoft Corp will set up an expanded research and development center in Shanghai which will focus on server, data management and Windows Live services.


The expanded center, located in the Zizhu Industrial Park in southwest Shanghai, is expected to open by the end of next year and will cover about 100,000 square meters. The center, which will be Microsoft's biggest R&D facility on the Chinese mainland when completed, will employ 6,000 people. Microsoft declined to reveal details of the investment figure in the Shanghai center but it invests around US$100 million annually in the country.


More than 1,200 people are working for Microsoft's three R&D teams in China and the number will rise to 3,000 in three to five years. The software giant's Beijing team focuses on mobile, search and TV-related technologies and its Shenzhen team works on hardware.


Microsoft Shanghai's research team focuses on SQL server (data management), multimedia and Windows Live, a popular online instant message tool, according to Xie Enwei, manager of Microsoft China R&D Group who leads the server and developing tool division.


"China's SQL market leads the world especially in telecommunications, retail and railway sectors," said Prakash Sundaresan, director of Microsoft China R&D Group leading SQL server division.


The SQL server business generates an income of US$2.5 billion annually to Microsoft, a 15 percent growth year on year, according to Sundaresan.


The data warehouse market offers IT firms huge opportunities as the growing securities, banking, telecom and retail industries in China are hungry for data storage and management, said US-based IDC, an IT research firm.


On Monday, Microsoft agreed to pay 94 million yuan (US$12.33 million) for a stake in major television maker Sichuan Changhong Electric Co. Both companies will work Media Galaxy project that would link home TVs and computers.


(Shanghai Daily June 20, 2007)


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