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Microsoft wants to provide platform for innovation in India: Satya Nadella

Invoking poet Ghalib, Nadella egged on the creators of future technology to dream big. On his third visit to the country, after he took over as Microsoft CEO in 2014.

Last Updated: May 31, 2016, 04.48 AM IST
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Quoting Ghalib's famous lines, Nadella said, "Hazaaron khwahishen aisi ke har khwahish pe dam nikle, Bahut niklay mere armaan, lekin phir bhi kam nikle".
Quoting Ghalib's famous lines, Nadella said, "Hazaaron khwahishen aisi ke har khwahish pe dam nikle, Bahut niklay mere armaan, lekin phir bhi kam nikle".
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NEW DELHI: On his blink-and-youmiss visit to the National Capital on Monday, Microsoft’s chief Satya Nadella called upon the strong developer community and entreprenuers in the country to use new technologies such as HoloLens to create applications of the future that will change the way people live and work.

Invoking poet Ghalib, Nadella egged on the creators of future technology to dream big. On his third visit to the country, after he took over as Microsoft CEO in 2014, the Hyderabad-born Nadella is also said to have discussed a proposal to conduct a pilot that uses India’s unique identity project Aadhaar with Skype to build a kind of digital identity.

During his half-a-day visit in New Delhi, Nadella addressed a conference titled, “Tech for Good, Ideas for India” which was attended by developers, entrepreneurs and students.

He also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union minister for communications and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad. According to an official in the know, during the meeting with Prasad, Nadella spoke about the pilot with Aadhaar. If Microsoft wants to come out with an alternative model for Aadhaar-based digital identity, the government is open to it, said the official. Nadella is also said to have discussed the ongoing government project to pick a vendor that will run the emailing system for the entire government machinery, upgrading the server’s capacity from the current 5-7 lakh users to 50 lakh.

“Microsoft is interested in the project but the government has decided to do it the open source way,” said the government official. Discussions also ranged on another initiative where the department of electronics and IT is empanelling private cloud service providers to cater to the technology needs of the government. “Microsoft could possibly partner the government since they have local data centres in India,” said another official.

During his November 2014 visit to the country – the first after taking over – Nadella announced the establishment of data centres in India at three locations. The move would help the company corner a share of the government cloud business along with that in the banking and the financial services space as most of the contracts require servers to be based in India. In the current trip, Nadella said the company wants to become the “platform” through which innovation is created in India. “It’s not about celebrating our technologies, it is about really celebrating the technologies that you all in India create. In fact, I want us to be the platform creators that foster the ingenuity of what is happening in India,” Nadella said addressing the conference.

In the recent past, most top American technology companies from Apple to Twitter have tried to tap into the developer talent in the country to fuel applications for respective platforms.

Reciting a popular Ghalib couplet, “Hazaaron Khawaishen Aaisi…”, Nadella said it is not just about your dreams being fulfilled, it is one’s ability to dream things that is worth dying for. He added that going forward most apps that will be built will have computer vision and the ability to see things built in, they will also have the ability to recognise speech.

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