Microsoft Office 365 and Windows Azure Come to China

Thu Nov 1, 2012 11:30am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

SHANGHAI, China, Nov. 1, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq:MSFT) ("Microsoft"), 21Vianet Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:VNET) ("21Vianet") and the Shanghai Municipal Government, announced today that they have signed a strategic partnership agreement to expand Microsoft's premier commercial cloud services—Office 365 and Windows Azure—into China. Mr. Baojun Ai, Member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee, deputy mayor of Shanghai; Mr. Ralph Haupter, Corporate Vice President, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft Greater China Region, and Mr. Josh Chen, Chairman and CEO of 21Vianet attended the signing ceremony to celebrate the milestone.

Mr. Josh Chen, Chairman and CEO of 21Vianet stated: "We are proud to partner with a world technology leader and become the Chinese provider for Office 365 and Windows Azure services in China. We believe that this commercial cloud platform will bring Chinese enterprises unprecedented operational efficiency and flexibility. By leveraging Microsoft's strong brand reputation and over 15 years of cloud experience, as well as 21Vianet's data center expertise, we aim to build one of China's premier cloud computing platforms."

In China, this new partnership will meet the requirements of customers by delivering Office 365 in two ways: 

  • Services operated by 21Vianet in China.  21Vianet will operate and offer Office 365 and Windows Azure services in China. In addition, Microsoft has signed a memorandum with the municipality of Shanghai, where 21Vianet is locating a major datacenter for these services. This option will provide a consistent Office 365 experience while meeting the demands of customers who prefer to use online services provided by a local company that stores their data within China. These services will be subject to Chinese laws.
  • Services operated by Microsoft. For Chinese customers who prefer to use services managed and delivered by Microsoft itself, Microsoft will provide Office 365 from Microsoft datacenters in Singapore and Hong Kong. These services will be subject to the laws of Singapore or Hong Kong.

There is strong demand for secure, reliable and scalable public cloud services in China -- a recent Forrester Research report on cloud computing (Forrester Research, Sizing The Cloud Markets In Asia Pacific, Feb. 3, 2012) found that Chinese organizations are beginning to mobilize around the cloud. "The public cloud market in China will grow from $297 million in 2011 to $3.8 billion in 2020. The three segments of the virtual private cloud market will grow from $44 million in 2011 to $1.6 billion in 2020. The unparalleled economic growth in China will certainly help spur strong cloud market growth in China across most cloud segments through 2020." Microsoft and 21Vianet are excited to bring our commercial cloud services to market in China and serve the productivity needs of local businesses.  

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

About Shanghai Municipal Government

Shanghai Municipal Government is the administrative department of Shanghai city. At present, Shanghai has become the central city of China, international economy center, international finance center, international trade center and international shipping center. For more information, pls visit http://www.shanghai.gov.cn/shanghai/node2314/index.html

About 21Vianet

21Vianet Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:VNET) is the largest carrier-neutral Internet data center services provider in China. 21Vianet provides hosting and related services, managed network services and cloud computing infrastructure services, improving the reliability, security and speed of its customers' Internet connections through 21Vianet's Internet infrastructure. Customers may locate their servers and networking equipment in 21Vianet's data centers and connect to China's Internet backbone through 21Vianet's extensive fiber optic network. In addition, 21Vianet's proprietary smart routing technology, BroadEx, enables customers' data to be delivered across the Internet in a faster and more reliable manner. 21Vianet operates in 33 cities throughout China, servicing a diversified and loyal base of more than 1,600 customers that span many industries ranging from Internet companies to government entities and blue-chip enterprises to small- to mid-sized enterprises. For more information, please visit http://www.en.21vianet.com/

Safe Harbor Statement

This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made under the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" and similar statements. Among other things, the outlook for the third quarter of 2012 and quotations from management in this announcement, as well as 21Vianet's strategic and operational plans, contain forward-looking statements. 21Vianet may also make written or oral forward-looking statements in its reports filed with, or furnished to, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, in its annual reports to shareholders, in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about 21Vianet's beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement, including but not limited to the following: 21Vianet's goals and strategies; 21Vianet's expansion plans; the expected growth of the data center services market; expectations regarding demand for, and market acceptance of, 21Vianet's services; 21Vianet's expectations regarding keeping and strengthening its relationships with customers; 21Vianet's plans to invest in research and development to enhance its solution and service offerings; and general economic and business conditions in the regions where 21Vianet provides solutions and services. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in 21Vianet's reports filed with, or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. 21Vianet does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law. All information provided in this press release and in the attachments is as of the date of this press release, and 21Vianet undertakes no duty to update such information, except as required under applicable law.

CONTACT: For more information, please contact
         
         Microsoft:
         Joanna Li
         Tel: 13901011975
         Email: joanli@microsoft.com
         
         21Vianet:
         Jeremy Peruski, ICR, Inc.
         Tel:+1 (646) 405-4922
         Email: IR@21Vianet.com
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