Microsoft executives announced on Thursday that more than 1,000 new employees would join the Chinese division of the company in the next fiscal year, as part of their efforts to fight Apple and Google in the mobile market.
China is one of the countries that survived the economic recession with minimum losses, mostly thanks to state incentives offered in many industry segments. The mobile Internet market grew at an impressive pace, so Apple and Google are leading the way with iOS and Android, respectively.
Microsoft tries to promote its Windows 8 mobile operating system, so it plans to hire more than 1,000 workers in China, while expenditure in the research department is expected to grow by 15 percent. Last year, the Redmond-based company approved a budget of $500 million for research and development.
Microsoft’s CEO for China, Ralph Haupter, admits that both Google and Apple are currently playing a key role in the country, but the company's efforts are very likely to attract more buyers for products such as Office 365, Windows Azure and Windows Server 2012.
“We are uniquely positioned to help China,” he said
according to IT World, suggesting that the upcoming Windows 8 and Microsoft Office 2013 might also benefit from these investments.
Currently, the company has a total of 4,500 employees in the country and approximately 80 percent of the research and development projects are aimed towards the global market. This will change very soon though, Ya-Qin Zhang, chairman of Microsoft's Asia-Pacific Research and Development Group, explained.
“It's the most ambitious and audacious plan we have had for China in the last two decades,” he said.
Statistics are actually the living proof that Microsoft has a lot of work to do if it really plans to fight for the leading position in the mobile market. According to figures released by research firm Analysys International, Android is the most popular mobile operating system in China, with 76.7 percent of the mobile phones in the country running this particular software.