Microsoft (MSFT) and India-based Tata Consultancy Services will be working as strategic partners with the Sino-India Cooperative Office of China on outsourcing ventures.

Tata, Microsoft, Beijing Zhongguancun Software Park Development, Uniware Company, and Tianjin Huayuan Software Park announced that the parties intend to establish a software joint venture company to provide IT outsourcing services and solutions to both the global market and domestic market. The JV, to be located in Beijing's Zhongguancun Software Park, plans to start operation in early 2006.

The JV will provide IT outsourcing services and solutions to all major worldwide markets particularly US, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region including China's domestic market. The key objective of this global initiative is to build the new venture as a role-model for the growing Chinese software industry.

The Letter of Intent was signed by representatives of the parties in Beijing — Mr. Li Baoxin, Chairman of Zhongguancun Software Park Development Co., Ltd., Mr. Tim Chen, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, CEO, Greater China Region and Mr. Jayant Pendharkar, Vice President of TCS. Mr. Zhang Xiaoqiang, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission of PRC, Zhang Mao, Vice Mayor of Beijing and Yang Dongliang, Vice Mayor of Tianjin attended the ceremony together with Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer, Microsoft Corporation and V Rajanna, General Manager of TCS China.

The JV will leverage the complementary strengths of investing parties in technology, software development management and talent training, in particular best processes and practices of TCS as well as its experience of handling large and industrial-scale projects. It will put into play the resources of Chinese partners, which run the national software development parks.

The cooperative project has been initiated and supported by the NDRC, with the objective of supporting China's local software industry through international cooperation. Microsoft's investment also demonstrates its commitment to the MOU signed in June 2002 with the NDRC for supporting the development of China's software and IT industry.

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