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Windows Azure set to launch
Aggregated Source: Shanghai Daily: Business

MICROSOFT Corp will become the first multinational corporation to provide public cloud computing services in China when it unveils Windows Azure in China next month.

Cooperating with the Shanghai government and a Chinese company, Microsoft's cloud computing service includes storage, database and integration through online cloud servers, which provides a less expensive and reliable way for people and enterprises to store and share data.

The new cloud computing service "re-defines the whole information technology industry in China and represents Microsoft's commitment to China," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive of Microsoft, who attended a conference yesterday to announce the launch of the Azure service in Shanghai.

Microsoft's Windows Azure service, which has provided 200 application services covering 1 billion people globally, is operated by 21Vianet, a Chinese operator, because of China's laws on data.

Microsoft has built two data centers in Shanghai and Beijing for the new cloud services. Its first batch of Chinese clients includes enterprise management software provider Kingdee, social network provider Renren, online video platform PPTV and carmaker Qoros.

The cloud computing service's launch in June will boost the development of China's cloud computing industry, one of the strategic industries to be developed in the 12th Five-Year Plan period that runs till 2015, according to experts.

Cloud computing will create 4 million new jobs in China by 2015, according to research firm International Data Corp.

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