April 21, 2009

Microsoft pledges $300M to Russia

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said the software giant would invest $300 million in Russia projects over the next three years.

Ballmer praised the Russian government's handling of the economy, the Moscow Times reported Tuesday.

At a news conference in Moscow, Ballmer said the Moscow government had done amazing work "¦ fighting the economic crisis and the measures it has taken with a view toward long-term growth through innovation and productivity.

Ballmer signed an agreement with the Space Research Institute to start a program to study climate change and pledged support for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Microsoft intends to expand the Dream Spark program that provides software to Russian university students.

Dream Spark will soon reach students in high schools and elementary schools, the Times said.

There's massive opportunity in this market, said David Ferguson, a market analyst at Renaissance Capital.

You probably have to give to receive, and investments of this kind are probably a way toward building a bridge, he said.