Microsoft to Develop Technology in Zürich

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Microsoft has opened a Microsoft Developer Center in the Greater Zurich Area. In its first Developer Center in Switzerland, Microsoft will develop collaboration technologies and products for the Microsoft Office system. Key factors in Microsoft’s decision were the thriving business environment of Zürich and the proximity to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich).

Stiftung Greater Zurich Area Standortmarketing

Microsoft has opened a Microsoft Developer Center for Collaboration Technologies in Zürich, the Greater Zurich Area AG, the location marketing agency for the economical region of Zürich, Switzerland, announced today. Elmar Ledergerber, the mayor of the City of Zürich officially inaugurated the Developer Center during last week’s opening ceremony, attended by numerous public officials and representatives from Zürich’s software industry and technical universities. The opening followed the integration of media-streams.com, a Zürich-based start-up company Microsoft acquired in November 2005.

Winning arguments for Zürich

Besides the leading-edge communications technology of media-streams.com, a key factor in Microsoft’s decision to take over the Zürich start-up firm was the city’s proximity to leading universities and research institutions such as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich). Specialized software developers are still in scarce supply all over the world. As hometown of the ETH, Zürich is a location that puts the Microsoft Developer Center in an excellent position when it comes to hiring young talent and new recruits.

Equally important was Zürich’s overall score as a business location, in particular as a Swiss hotbed for information and communications technologies (ICT). Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president of the Live Communications Team in the Unified Communications Group at Microsoft Corporation, said: “The Microsoft Developer Center in Zürich perfectly embodies the innovatory power of the software business in Switzerland. It underscores the high quality of education and training in this country, and its economic attractiveness.”

A globally competitive location

Microsoft’s Swiss Developer Center currently employs 18 people and is the fourth Microsoft development facility in Europe. It is part of the Unified Communication Group (UCG) within Microsoft’s Business Division and specializes in the development of convergent technology products on the basis of the Internet Protocol. Other UCG development centers are located at Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters, Hyderabad (the capital of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh), and the Chinese capital Beijing.

“Being among Microsoft’s development locations of choice outside the U.S. is a great achievement for the Greater Zurich Area”, said Willi Meier, CEO of the Greater Zurich Area AG. “It clearly suggests that our business location is on a par with the best of the world.”

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. MS-DOS, Windows, Windows 3.0, Windows 95, Windows 98, .NET, Office XP, Windows XP and Windows Server are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. http://www.microsoft.com

About Greater Zurich Area AG

The Greater Zurich Area AG, a nonprofit organization, is the marketing association for the Greater Zurich Area business region. It recruits international companies abroad and assists them with setting up companies and making investments in the Greater Zurich Area. Its sponsor is the “Stiftung Greater Zurich Area Standortmarketing,” a public-private partnership that was established in November 1998. Since that time, its membership has grown to include the cantons of Aargau, Glarus, Graubünden, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn and Zürich, the cities of Zürich and Winterthur, and several businesses. http://www.greaterzuricharea.ch

Contact:

Holger Rungwerth, Microsoft (Schweiz) AG, Zürich

Tel.: +41 78 844 60 83

Marion Graber, Corporate Communications, Greater Zurich Area AG, Zürich

Tel.: +41 44 254 59 07

Marc Neumann, International Media Relations, Greater Zurich Area AG, New York

Tel.: +1 917 330 9476

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