Steve Ballmer to launch Microsoft's Israel R&D center

The center aims to employ 750 workers by year-end.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is making a lightening three-hour stopover in Israel to officially inaugurate the company's R&D center in Herzliya Pituah tomorrow.

Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Ballmer are at a crossroads. The software giant, which until now always succeeded in penetrating new market through its own efforts, has been compelled - some would say "humiliatingly" - to try to acquire the world's second largest portal, Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO). The takeover has meanwhile been stymied, and Ballmer and Microsoft are not pleased.

Ballmer last visited Israel in 2004. Ballmer, who is Jewish, has a warm spot for Israeli high tech. He is considered an aggressive chief executive, which is reflected in his approach to the Israeli technology market. After many years during which Microsoft operated a fairly modest R&D center in Israel, the company launched an intensive acquisitions campaign two years ago and has set up a strategic development center, which Ballmer is inaugurating. Microsoft plans for the center to have 750 employees by year-end.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on May 20, 2008

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2008

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