Microsoft is actively looking outside the US to set up its second major research and development facility, with Bangalore in India a leading contender.
Since Microsoft chief Bill Gates' visit to India earlier this year, where he loudly praised the country's wealth of software talent, speculation has been rife that the giant would set up a new development facility.
Now, sources say Microsoft has undergone a serious evaluation for an Indian centre. A recent `Fortune' magazine report stated: "Gates is contemplating establishing a software research and development centre in Bangalore, to tap into the rich vein of Indian programming talent".
Following this, Sanjay Parthasarathy, Microsoft's regional director for the Indian subcontinent, said: "We are considering setting up such a centre." But he declined to confirm that India - and almost certainly the heart of its IT industry, Bangalore - would be the location for such a facility, which would be the second after that in the Redmond, Washington headquarters.
"We had already said that within a year of Mr Gates' visit to India, we will be looking at development sites outside the US. No decision has been taken on the location yet, though India is a definite option," Parthasarathy added.
But Parthasarathy added that there is a separate evaluation of various Indian cities underway, as Microsoft looks to expand its sales network. "Starting with Chennai and Calcutta, we will be expanding our sales operations throughout the country," he said. Microsoft already has operations in New Delhi and Bangalore.
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