Microsoft has decided to locate its second software development centre in India - the only such facility outside the US headquarters.
According to Orlando Ayala, vice president of inter-continental operations, Microsoft should confirm details by the end of the year.
"India has a 99.9 per cent chance of being the selected site," he said, ending the long speculation about the location of the new centre (see previous Newswire stories). "India is definitely being picked as a centre. It is not a question of if, it is a question of when."
Ayala continued, saying that "Indian software skills are unparalleled in the world. The country offers advantages which no other country can match."
The company has not until now stepped outside its US base of Redmond, Washington to develop its products although it carries out research elsewhere. It is investing $80 million to establish a research laboratary at the UK's Cambridge University.
Microsoft is also planning to launch operating systems in about 18 Indian languages, which should hit the Indian market in the next six months, Ayala said.
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