Microsoft unveils interoperability lab in India

Microsoft Corp. has set up a lab in Bangalore where industry, government and educational institutions can test applications for their interoperability with open-source and other technologies.

The company also announced Thursday an Open Source Technology Program with four Indian academic institutions.

The program will encourage student projects across diverse areas including interoperability between Windows and Linux platforms, said Ravi Venkatesan, chairman of Microsoft India. Venkatesan spoke at an Interoperability Enclave in Bangalore, which representatives of government, academia and industry attended.

The problem of interoperability is a serious one for customers, and includes not only diverse technologies from different vendors, but sometimes products from the same company, said Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer.

“Sometimes older versions of Microsoft’s products do not interoperate well with our more recent products,” Mundie said.

The new interoperability lab will help customers test software across infrastructure, application and management areas.

Microsoft announced earlier this week an Innovation Center in Pune, in western India, that will work with local education institutions and software startups to develop applications for small and medium enterprises. The center will also work on applications to bridge the digital divide.

The company also announced Monday a “startup accelerator program” designed to help Indian software startups develop business and marketing skills, contact venture capitalists and get market visibility.

Microsoft believes that it requires partnerships and local innovation to succeed in emerging markets, said Dan’l Lewin, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for strategic and emerging business development.

The company is evolving new pricing models and business models for deployment of its software in tandem with local software vendors, investors and a variety of other ecosystem partners including local governments, Lewin said.

“We think that software will be licensed, it will be advertiser sponsored and supported, it will be offered as a subscription, and in various other ways,” Lewin said.