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November 12, 2012

Microsoft News - Microsoft Dedicates $100 Million to Building Rio de Janeiro IT Hub

By David Gitonga, TMCnet Contributing Writer

After releasing a slew of software including a full operating system and Office 365, Microsoft is again taking to the limelight after it made known its new $100 million investment for a new technology center based in Rio de Janeiro.

The company plans to have the center as the abode to an advanced laboratory, a research and development platform for the company’s Bing search engine. In what seems to be a move to give back to society, Microsoft (News - Alert) intends that the center be a business incubator that works towards identifying and improving on local Internet technology startups.

The Rio establishment will reside in an abandoned 18th century building located in the city’s downtown port, and will join three other such facilities already existing in Germany, Israel and Egypt. In actuality, IT hub can be seen as a stride in making the town over in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Above, the new Microsoft Surface Tablet

Speaking during the launch of the establishment, local officials are optimistic that the investment from Microsoft will help in their effort to transform the town into an IT hub. The center is the fruit of a year-long negotiation with the Brazilian Government that led to the isolation of technology as a pinnacle in the journey to increase the country’s global competitiveness.

It is, however, quite evident that the move by Microsoft is also a strategic one, as it places it into a pool of other giants such as Lenovo, IBM, Cisco (News - Alert), GE and Foxconn – all who are making efforts in moving their research and operations into the region. In fact, prior to the expression of interest in creating the IT hub, Microsoft had gone public on its plan to manufacture Xbox 360s in Brazil.

The construction will turn Porto Maravilha into Rio’s hi-tech district by equipping it with state-of-the-art services and infrastructure. For instance, there will be fiber-to-the-home and fiber-to-the-premises broadband infrastructure. This connectivity lays the backbone for Internet-based development by improving the current Internet connectivity capacity from 100MB to 1GB. Port authorities still retain their optimism and hope that in the next decade, they will be able to deliver 10GB capacity to homes and businesses.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

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