Microsoft unveils Unlimited Potential for India
? Creates relevant, accessible and affordable technology solutions with a focus on
transforming education, fostering local innovation and enabling jobs & opportunities
? Launches Microsoft IQ PC and MSN IQ Beta education portal
New Delhi, June 27, 2007: In a country with a population of over one billion, access to Information Technology is
available to only a 100 million people. Microsoft India, with the overriding objective to enable IT access for the
vast majority of Indians today announced the roll out of Unlimited Potential in the country. The effort - the announcement of which comes close on the heels of the global launch of Microsoft Unlimited Potential by Bill
Gates in Beijing, China - will focus to create innovative ways for deploying technology to transform education,
foster local innovation, and enable jobs and opportunities to sustain a continuous cycle of social and economic
growth for everyone. Unlimited Potential will draw on the substantial resources and business expertise of Microsoft
and its partners to create a model that enables new market opportunities as one billion consumers, in India and
elsewhere, join the global economy in the next decade.
The news was unveiled by Orlando Ayala, Senior Vice President of the Emerging Segments Market Development Group, Microsoft, and Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman Microsoft India, in the presence of several partners. Speaking at the launch, Ayala said, “Our founding vision of „a computer on every desk and in every home‟ has reached the
first billion people, and with Unlimited Potential, we are determined to reach the next billion people by 2015.
India is one of the most exciting and important markets in the world. In addition to being a growth sector of the
Indian economy, information technology is also a key enabler of social development. In India especially, the
progress on many fronts is already well underway and continues to mature.”
Elaborating on Unlimited Potential, Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft India, said “The task that we have today is to make technology pervasive and useful in the everyday lives of more and more people. The growth of IT
penetration in India, currently, might be rapid, but it is not rapid enough. Affordability is critical and goes far
beyond low-cost hardware. Affordable solutions must account for individual needs and means, and use creative
ways to deliver technology, through different devices, access models or financing options. It is imperative for
technology to be relevant and accessible. Only when we meet these criteria will the adoption of technology grow
exponentially. And this is exactly what we seek to deliver through Microsoft Unlimited Potential”.
Outlining the focus areas in India, Ravi Venkatesan added, “Education at every level remains crucial for India‟s
continued growth. The investments made in it over the years have propelled India‟s growth in the knowledge
economy; and it will be critical to continue the focus on education. And, likewise, for any sustainable progress on
India‟s socio economic index, a focus on jobs and opportunities will be essential.
Last but not least, if India has to continue to exert an even greater influence in the emerging global knowledge
economy, it will have to foster the creation and ownership of that knowledge. Innovation will not just be a prime
way to address the unique needs of the India market but also to give India that edge.”
Over the past several years Microsoft has been using a combination of quality content, partnerships, training, and
broad access to transform education In India. Under its program, Project Shiksha (the global Partners in Learning program) Microsoft has worked with state governments, and other key stakeholders to offer a spectrum of
education resources including tools, programs, and practices. To increase IT literacy amongst teachers and
students at the government school level, Microsoft has to date, trained over 100,000 teachers impacting over 5
million students. In higher education, its efforts have included providing professional development training and
tools and resources to over 1000 IT and engineering faculty members across 51 colleges in India.
Going forward, Microsoft will both scale up the existing initiatives and broaden the opportunity beyond institutions
to enable access for individuals under a ‘Connected Learning framework’ called IQ.
IQ is essentially a combination of an online and offline content tied into all aspects of a student‟s learning process
and growth. A key offering announced today included a pilot programme for the IQ PC in partnership with AMD.
The announcement is the latest milestone in the ongoing relationship between Microsoft and AMD to bring
solutions to India and other markets around the world.
Aimed at school going children from Kindergarten to class 12, the PC will be built on AMD hardware in
partnership with Zenith as the designated OEM. Additionally, Microsoft and AMD are also working
towards collaborating with WIPRO to deliver IQ-PC on Wipro's ultra-value.
The IQ PC will include Windows, Office / Works, Encarta, Student 2007 and specialized education solutions from a
host of key partners. The content focuses on the key concerns of families, be it the learning of English as a
language, tutorials for competitive examinations, or ensuring a seamless transition from class work to homework.
Microsoft also announced the launch of the MSN IQ Beta Education Channel which will be a repository of theducational as well as edutainment content. Students access curriculum for classes Kindergarten to 12, avail of
online tutoring; competitive exam coaching; online entertainment; referencing and online counseling. Leading industry personalities will also provide some specialized editorial content for the channel.
Initially, Microsoft will launch the IQ offerings – both the PC and the Education Channel - in Bangalore and Pune ststarting 1 July and will roll out to the rest of the country by November.
Microsoft is catalyzing a network of industry, government and development leaders to form and strengthen
partnerships at the local, regional and global level that create the scale necessary to achieve the goals of
Unlimited Potential. The IQ offerings are supported by a host of partners, both hardware and software, who have extensive experience, understanding and are leaders in their area of operations. For content the partners include Brilliant Tutorials, Junior Achievement, Pacsoft, Karadi tales, Gurujiworld, Edurite and TutorVista.
For hardware globally, Microsoft is supported by Intel and AMD through their respective programs, World Ahead
and 50/15. The companies are working to align common objectives to achieve maximum impact for ICT growth in
Tied into relevance is accessibility, and to achieve that, Microsoft announced a strategic partnership with Sify Corporation: The Sify iWay countrywide chain of internet cafes will have special provision for enabling access to Microsoft‟s initiatives for students, job seekers and small businesses.
Enabling Jobs and Opportunities
With a seven to eight million new entrants into the job market in India on an annual basis, it is imperative to grow and support segments that will address the growing demand of this talent pool.
Microsoft is working with partners in government and industry to build an employability portal that will aid the country‟s nearly 400,000 engineering students who graduate each year to improve their technology, business and
communication skills through online training and verification. It will aim to address the growing need expressed by the IT and ITEs industry. The portal is scheduled to launch by the end of 2007.
Earlier this month, Microsoft India announced the roll out of Project Vikas, an initiative which aims to enhance the
competitiveness of SMEs in twenty three pre identified economic clusters via IT adoption in partnership with NMCC. The program got underway with the launch of an SME portal and a successful IT adoption program in the Tirupur
These programs are in continuum of the success Microsoft has already enjoyed with the work it has been doing in
partnership with non-governmental organizations to help foster entrepreneurship and support job creation.
Project Jyoti, which began operations in 2004 is committed to providing IT jobs and skill training to the
underserved communities across the rural landscape through community training learning centers. It has already
setup around 500 Community Technology Learning Centre (CTLCs) across the country.
Fostering Local Innovation
Recognizing the unique need of the Indian market, Microsoft Research and the India Development Centre are
working to develop tools, technologies and solutions that will address issues relevant to India and other emerging
markets. Some successes in this area include MultiPoint - a simple yet powerful technology which will enable
multiple children to share a single PC using multiple mice. For the purposes of primary education, it can multiply
the benefit of a single computer by three, four, five, or more. Equally inspiring is Digital StudyHall (DSH), an
independent research project primarily supported by Microsoft Research, which aims to overcome both the
problems of staff shortage and availability of standardized study material among underserved communities.
Simply put, it records and distributes DVDs of subject classes led by India‟s best grassroots teachers. Underserved
areas can access the DSH database via DVDs, while areas that are more developed will be able to access the
content via the Internet.
Cognizant of India‟s vast needs and the talent availability in the country, Microsoft works with industry bodies like
NASSCOM and TiE to ensure the local IT ecosystem contributes and benefits from IT adoption. Under a programme
titled “India is Innovation” Microsoft is working with over 300 ISVs in India to address the growing Indian and
international applications market. It works with them to on quality certifications, business skills, VC funding,
opportunity identification, marketing programs and alignments to global technology roadmaps.
Earlier this month, Microsoft India also opened an innovation centre with the National Institute for Smart
Government for accelerating the application of IT in the area of e-Governance. Microsoft Innovation Centers
provide customers and partners with a comprehensive set of programs and services, with a goal of fostering
innovation and growth in local software economies.
Later in the year, Microsoft will set up a Microsoft Innovation centre to provide local software developers and IT
companies a comprehensive set of programs and services to expand work-force skills, create jobs, strengthen
innovation and improve competitiveness.
Summing up, Venkatesan said, “The task we have set ourselves – of bringing technology to peoples so far on the
other side of the divide – is a mammoth one, and we recognize that. This is just the beginning and we are confident we will succeed; and our confidence stems from the support we get from our partners. By bringing
together the creative power of local governments, ISVs, universities, small businesses, investors, individuals, we
can help foster an environment for innovative ideas”.
About Unlimited Potential
Microsoft Unlimited Potential expands and accelerates Microsoft‟s commitment to facilitate sustained social and
economic opportunity for the more than 5 billion people living in every country around the world who do not today
benefit from technology.
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 ten cities -
Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Nagpur, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh.
For further information, please contact:
Amita Tandan Sabah Hamid Account Director Manager – Corporate PR Text 100 Microsoft India Tel: 9810415636 Tel: 95124 4158000 E-mail: email@example.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org