Microsoft plans large expansion in China to push cloud services

Microsoft China plans to hire 1,000 new employees in the next fiscal year

To benefit from a growing Chinese market, Microsoft on Thursday said it is increasing its investment in the country, with new hires, more research for local requirements, and an expansion to additional cities and provinces to bring cloud computing services to its enterprise customers.

Microsoft's so-called "go big" strategy for China, includes hiring 1,000 additional employees over the fiscal year, that will work in research, enterprise services, and support for the company. Currently the company has about 4,500 employees in the country.

The company also plans to increase its research and development investment in China next year, bringing it up by 15 percent from the current annual amount of US$500 million.

As part of the overall strategy, the company will expand its presence in 15 provinces and 20 cities in China by bolstering its staff and management and working with local government offices.

The investment is expected to help promote Microsoft's cloud offerings -- including Windows Azure, Office 365, and Windows Server 2012 -- in China. It will also help as the company prepares for the upcoming release of Windows 8 and Microsoft Office 2013.

While announcing the strategy, Microsoft executives emphasized, during a Thursday briefing with journalists, China's importance in the world market, and how Chinese companies and local governments are increasingly looking at ways to improve productivity. Already, China has become the world's largest market for PC and smartphone shipments.

"We are uniquely positioned to help China," Ralph Haupter, chairman and CEO for Microsoft's Greater China Region, said. He said the company can help drive innovation in the country and address the technology needs of its Chinese enterprise customers, many of which want to compete abroad.

Microsoft plans to develop more technologies and products specifically for China, said Ya-Qin Zhang, chairman of Microsoft's Asia-Pacific Research and Development Group. Currently, about 80 percent of Microsoft's research in China is for the global market, but the company will increasingly devote more research to the local Chinese market.

"It's the most ambitious and audacious plan we have had for China in the last two decades," he added.

While Microsoft executives said China is rich with opportunities, the country also has its own challenges. China has a high level of software piracy, a problem that continues to hinder Microsoft product sales. PCs in the country are also still overwhelmingly installed with Windows XP, with its user share at 76 percent, according to data analytics website CNZZ.com

China, however, has been one of the biggest adopters of the Windows 8 preview release, Haupter said. "If not the biggest, (China) is one of the top two markets adopting right now the Windows 8 beta," he said. Microsoft is currently working with many Chinese developers and companies to bring their apps to the platform, he added.

The strategy Microsoft is pushing in China relates to all its products, and not only Windows 8. "As much as we love Windows 8, the opportunity is at least in servers, at least in the Office products, at least in the (Windows Phone) product, and yes obviously in the Windows platform," Haupter said.

The company estimates about 40 percent of the enterprise users in China use some kind of Microsoft private cloud-related software. The company is also working on providing a public cloud offering to China.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?