Microsoft turns focus to emerging markets, by Todd Bishop

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Microsoft Corp.’s research unit is turning to social scientists in a new effort to understand the long-term possibilities for computer technology in developing countries. A Microsoft Research lab, to be inaugurated tomorrow in Bangalore, India, plans to employ anthropologists, ethnographers and others to observe and document the lives of people in India’s rural villages. Kentaro Toyama, a 35-year-old Microsoft computer-science researcher who will lead the lab’s emerging-markets group, has already begun trekking to distant outposts in India. A primary aim of the new group is to help Microsoft understand the situation in rural villages before the company tries to create appropriate technologies for them — rather than first creating the technologies and then trying to find areas where they might apply.
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Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer