Microsoft has stepped up its investments in research and development with the opening of new European Search Technology Centres in London, Paris and Munich.
The centres will aim to harness local experience in the online and search sectors, stimulate innovation and improve the European knowledge economy, according to Microsoft.
The company already has 2,000 Europe-based researchers and engineers, and has set up more than 40 R&D and Microsoft Innovation Centres, including an international research lab in Cambridge and development centres in Dublin.
"To compete in a global, innovation-driven economy we need to draw on the world's smartest and most creative minds," said Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.
"Increasingly, we are finding the talent we need here in Europe. To tap into that talent, we have invested in R&D across the region, and today Europe is second only to the US in the number of engineers and researchers we have working on innovative products and services."
Ballmer is currently in the middle of a European tour to visit governments, customers, partners and employees.
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