Microsoft partners with China firm on cloud-computing

BEIJING Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:05am EDT

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BEIJING (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp will develop and market cloud-computing products in China with a Chinese partner, a pattern that the software giant could use as a model in other emerging markets, an executive said on Tuesday.

Microsoft and China Standard Software Co Ltd (CS2C), a provider of operating systems and office products, will develop and sell cloud-computing solutions primarily to large enterprise clients such as online retailers, banks and government ministries, said Sandy Gupta, general manager of Open Source Solutions Group at Microsoft.

The cloud platforms will be for Windows-based computers as well as for Linux and Unix systems, Gupta told reporters at an event announcing the partnership.

The two companies did not disclose financial terms of their arrangement.

Cloud computing is being promoted as the new generation of data and application storage, with users storing data not on computers or on local servers but in a "cloud" maintained by servers that may be in several locations.

"Organizations are constantly looking for new ways to help them adapt and thrive in the marketplace, and nowhere is that more relevant than in the China market today," CS2C President Han Naiping said in a statement.

Gupta said the potential market in China could include government entities such as the Beijing city government and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture that have indicated an interest in moving toward cloud computing.

The cooperative effort could serve as a model for Microsoft to introduce similar cloud-computing projects in other emerging markets such as India and Brazil, Gupta said.

(Reporting by Terril Yue Jones; Editing by Ken Wills)

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