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Microsoft Corporation India, leader in software for personal and business computing and HCL Infosystems, India’s premier information enabler, leading ICT System Integrator and Distribution Company – today announced a set of initiatives which will further strengthen their long-lasting alliance. The companies announced plans for the creation of a joint Centre of Excellence (CoE) for development of vertical specific customised solution frameworks for India; the launch of the world’s lowest cost Windows OS enabled laptop at Rs17,000 under the MiLeap brand of HCL leaptops; and generating an industry ready workforce certified in Microsoft technologies at the HCL Career Development Centres, which will offer a unique learning experience.


The announcement was made at an event attended by Kevin Turner, Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft Corporation; Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft India; and Ajai Chowdhry, HCL Infosystems Chairman and CEO.


Speaking at the event, Kevin Turner, Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft Corporation, said, “For over 22 years, Microsoft and HCL have partnered with each other to promote the use of information technology in India. We are delighted to reinforce this association and empower Indian consumers and businesses with the latest and best that technology has to offer.”


HCL, which launched the MiLeap series of laptops earlier this year, today announced the roll out of the Windows OS enabled MiLeap. Available at Rs 17,000, it is the lowest price Microsoft Windows XP powered laptop in the market. The MiLeap H Series runs on Windows XP Home, has a 30 GB HDD and is broadband ready.


Microsoft and HCL Infosystems also announced the establishment of a new Centre of Excellence (CoE) with over 500 software professionals to create, design and deploy Microsoft technologies based solution frameworks across various industry verticals. The CoE will leverage the System Integration capabilities of HCL and Microsoft’s innovative suite of products in the area of IT requirement of customers across verticals, which include Telecom, Banking, Financial Services and Insurance, Power, Defense, Retail, eGovernance, Media & Entertainment, and MS based horizontal solutions in Health, Railways and Airports. According to the NASSCOM Strategic Review 2008, domestic IT Services spends are estimated to be growing at about 43 percent in FY2008, and are showing signs of increasing sophistication as building enterprise IT infrastructure and applications, networking and communication become key priorities for India Inc. Considering this data point, HCL and Microsoft see the CoE becoming a business enabler in the coming years.


The third part of the strategic alliance includes an agreement by Microsoft and HCL Infosystems to train and certify 50,000 students on Microsoft technologies, in three years, across 100 training centers – the HCL Career Development Centres – set up by HCL. The curriculum used will be the Microsoft Official Curriculum, the most comprehensive and structured learning methodology designed and developed by Microsoft. The goal of the Microsoft – HCL training initiative is to enhance the employability of students and help the Indian IT industry retain its competitive edge. The training will also provide a targeted framework for IT Managers to validate core technical, professional and architectural skills. As per NASSCOM, India’s emergence as a preferred outsourcing destination has created the need for about 2.3 million professionals by 2010; and, based on current estimates, a shortage of 0.5 million skilled knowledge workers may arise if remedial action is not taken. Further, India produces 4,00,000 engineers a year, of which only one in four is employable as far as skills go. The MS-HCL partnership is targeted at creating a sustained supply of skilled and certified manpower to address the employability issues of the IT and ITES industry.


Commenting on the various initiatives announced, Ajai Chowdhry, Chairman & CEO, HCL Infosystems Ltd said, “HCL & Microsoft have always brought value to each other while jointly working towards propelling wider acceptance for IT amongst the masses. Both HCL and Microsoft are key players in India market and this alliance has bought value to the Indian customer with over three decades of innovation, passion and defining markets. I am sure that this alliance will further enable overall development in our country with IT as the key enabler.” Adding to this, Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft India, said, “All three initiatives announced today are very significant to our continual efforts at partnering the Indian industry in its quest for success by leveraging the power of IT and enabling the uptake of IT across India”.


About Microsoft India

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device. Microsoft Corporation India Private Ltd is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation USA. It has had a presence in India since 1990 and currently has offices in thirteen cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Nagpur, New Delhi, Pune and Coimbatore.


About HCL Infosystems

HCL Infosystems Ltd, with revenue (LTM) of US $ 3.1 billion (Rs. 12,500 Crores) is India’s premier information enabling and ICT System Integration company offering a wide spectrum of ICT products that includes Computing, Storage, Networking, Security, Telecom, Imaging and Retail. HCL is a one-stop-shop for all the ICT requirements of an organization.


India’s leading System Integration and Infrastructure Management Services Organization, HCL has specialized expertise across verticals including Telecom, BFSI, E-Governance & Power.


HCL has India’s largest distribution and retail network, taking to market a range of Digital Lifestyle products in partnership with leading global ICT brands, including Nokia, Apple, Casio, Kodak, Toshiba, Bull, Ericsson, Cisco, Microsoft, Konica Minolta and many more.


HCL today has India’s largest vertically integrated computer manufacturing facility with over three decades of electronic manufacturing experience HCL desktops is the largest selling brand into the enterprise space.


With India’s largest ICT services network that reaches to every corner of India, HCL’s award winning Support Services makes it the preferred choice of enterprise and consumers alike. For more information please visit us at www.hclinfosystems.in


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