Microsoft Launches 14 Innovation Centers in IndiaMicrosoft

IT giant Microsoft has launched 14 innovation centres in the country in collaboration with technical institutions to tap the growing number of developers in India.

The Microsoft Innovation Centers (MICs) will help the students to certify on Microsoft technologies as well as support technological innovation and the local start-ups. Globally, the company currently has 75 MICs and as part of the worldwide programme, Microsoft aims to set up 100 centres in the country in the next two years, the company said.

"India is a key market for us. With more than 1 million developers in the country, the developer's ecosystem is unique compared to other countries as people here develop apps professionally and also as part of their hobby," Joseph Landes, general manager of DPE (developer platform evangelist), Microsoft India, told Business Standard.

The first 14 centres will be set up in cities like Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Khammam, Bapatla, Guntur and Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, Raipur in Chhattisgarh, Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, Trichy, Vellore, Coimbatore, Madurai and Salem in Tamil Nadu. The initial projects will focus on Mobility (Windows Phone), Cloud (Windows Azure), Kinect, Accessibility, Healthcare and other problems of the Indian society.

"The Microsoft Innovation Centres are designed to offer a unique environment conducive for student entrepreneurship. The Microsoft Innovation Centres can play a vital role in generating powerful new ideas through training, education and knowledge transfer," Landes added.

Microsoft had earlier announced the launch of its new initiative called YouthSpark which encourages young entrepreneurs to establish themselves. The internet giant has similar projects such as DreamSpark, BizSpark and Imagine Cup to incubate the developers' ecosystems worldwide.

The newly launched MICs will cover over 5 lakh technical students in the country and is expected to certify 1 lakh on Microsoft technologies. The MICs will act as hub for five other neighboring colleges and will provide support on Microsoft technology innovation, research and software solutions.

"The programme will also drive innovation and help build a product-based software economy by supporting product development and over 500 start-ups," the company said.