Satya Nadella Pitches Microsoft in India

November 5, 2015, 1:04 PM UTC
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IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR MICROSOFT - Satya Nadella, Microsoft chief executive officer, shares the Windows 10 vision as part of the Microsoft strategy on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. (Ron Wurzer/AP Images for Microsoft)
Photograph by Ron Wurzer — AP Images for Microsoft

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella is in Mumbai Thursday to pitch his company’s technology and programs as ways to help India modernize both its technical and physical infrastructure, according to the Times of India and other outlets.

Nadella, as well as executive vice president Scott Guthrie, will also speak at Future Unleashed 2015, a Microsoft event taking place Thursday and Friday.

As part of the trip, Nadella touted a previously-announced Microsoft (MSFT) program that will provide startups with up to $120,000 in Azure cloud credits to come up with ways to solve urban problems through digitization and modernization. It’s sort of Microsoft’s version of IBM’s long-running Smarter Cities push.

Late last month, Microsoft announced it was opening new data center regions in Pune, Chennai, and Mumbai. (Amazon on Wednesday announced plans for a new data center in Korea, to open next year.)

However, Microsoft isn’t the only company building data centers in India. In October, IBM (IBM) launched its first local data center in Chennai, along with a program to foster startup talent (and woo it to IBM SoftLayer cloud resources). At that time, IBM cited the country’s huge number of software developers as the reason for the initiative. Meanwhile, research firm Evans Data Corp. estimates that there are about 2.75 million developers in India today, making it second only to the U.S. in that regard.

Not to be left behind, Amazon (AMZN) Web Services also plans to open an Indian data center next year. Google (GOOGL), the other major public cloud power, does not yet have cloud data centers in India, so stay tuned.

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