Steve Ballmer and Microsoft bet on Paris to reinforce Research Department

Software Giant is to open three Internet search technology centers, in Paris, London and Munich.


Microsoft CEO admits it himself: "We are the challenger, not the leader in search. But there is so much room for innovation". It is true that with a 10% share of the market, Live Search, Microsoft’s search engine, is not succeeding in competing with Google which reigns with a 70% share over this highly lucrative industry.

Microsoft has decided to play hardball in order to catch on Google on the Internet industry. Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates’ successor at the top of the software giant, announced that the company was about to invest in three European countries in order to boost its search engine: France, United Kingdom and Germany. The American company will open a European high tech centre entirely dedicated to Internet searches, an activity that gathers almost half of the web’s worldwide advertisement investments.

Grand opening in 2009

Next spring, this three-headed technology center should employ about a hundred engineers and "several hundreds" in the years to come , declared Steve Ballmerin the presence of French Finance Secretary, Christine Lagarde.

Ballmer, who refused to unveil the amount of this investment, insisted in reminding how important Europe is to Microsoft: "It represents more than 13,000 employees and a third of our general income. Outside the USA, Europe is on top concerning our investments in the Research and Development field, followed by China and India", stressed Microsoft CEO.

The company might in a second time enlarge its technology center of excellence to other countries which candidacies have been rejected. Especially as Microsoft has understood that the Search market was not global but local. "We have noticed that in China, Japan and South Korea, the local researchers recruitment had led us to improve our performances", declared Jordi Ribas, European Excellence Center Director. "Searches must largely relate to local culture and language in order to be relevant".

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