The PC software giant Microsoft's chairman Bill Gates has termed the period 2000-2009 as the digital decade. Committing an investment of Rs.2,000 crore in India in the next three years, Microsoft is going to take major initiatives in computer education and localized software versions.
"As we enter the digital decade, the opportunities before us to drive innovation are immense. This presents a unique role for the Government of India to create a vibrant knowledge based economy that encourages innovation…" said Gates while declaring the launch of project 'Shiksha - Empowering the future'. The project aims to accelerate computer literacy among 80,000 school teachers and 3.5 million students across India. Gates has also agreed to provide an assistance of one million dollar for the Media Lab Asia project by the Government of India.
Microsoft India plans to launch Windows XP and Office with a Hindi language interface with in a year. Gates further added, "By advancing the frontiers of technology and breaking down language barriers, we are presenting an opportunity for individuals to leverage software to access information and communicate in ways that will enrich their lives and businesses."
In the area of e-governance, Microsoft is doing number of projects with central and state governments. The company has developed an Intranet 'Aarakshi' for the Jaipur City Police which is local language enabled as it operates in Hindi. Another project done by Microsoft is 'Gyandoot' which again is an intranet service on government-to-citizen e-commerce activity that is giving rural villagers in India affordable access to various government services and market information. Microsoft is doing number of other projects too on e-governance to make a web-based economy in India.