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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Microsoft Cloud Taken to India

Software giant Microsoft has recently signed a contract with the Indian authorities to run its cloud on a large education network, which is expected to be used by 7,000,000 students.
One of the Indian government agencies, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), recently signed the contract for Redmond's Live@edu cloud service. It is expected to be used by 7 million students and about 500,000 staff members in the nearest future.


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Microsoft believes that the Asian government agency will become its largest cloud customer. In a joint statement, the software giant claimed that the cloud deployment is able to provide users with access to high-quality technical education.

The rollout is scheduled for the next three months. It will be finished in fall, and the new service will then be available to over 10 thousand technical colleges and institutes across India. However, there is a downside for Microsoft, as the AICTE is also planning to deploy Office 365 after it becomes available in India later in 2012. The latter is a governing body for technical education in the country, being a part of the local Ministry of Human Resource Development. The thing that makes the deal extraordinary is that India is getting too concerned about foreign spying. For example, the authorities have already banned mobile phones manufactured in China, thinking that they might contain snooping chips.

It seems that the Indian authorities forgot about the US Patriot Act: once it was enforced, all American companies had to turn over any information they acquired, even if it was stored off-shore, to either the CIA or Homeland Security. Of course, this hasn’t been tried yet, but a lot of security experts believe it’s just a matter of time.

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