Global Dispatches

An International IT News Digest

Microsoft to Double Workers at Indian Unit

BANGALORE, India -- Microsoft Corp. will nearly double the workforce at its Indian subsidiary's facilities in Hyderabad and Bangalore by next March, according to sources familiar with the plan. The sources last week confirmed news reports from Hyderabad, where Microsoft has a large development operation.

Once the hiring effort is completed, Microsoft India will employ about 3,000 workers in Hyderabad and Bangalore, the sources said. Officials at Microsoft India weren't available for comment.

In Hyderabad, Microsoft currently employs 600 software developers at one product development center and another 500 at a second facility. The company's Bangalore-based Global Technical Support Center, which provides phone and e-mail support to Microsoft users, has about 500 workers.

Late last year, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told reporters in Hyderabad that the company planned to hire hundreds of new workers in India during 2005. At the time, Ballmer promised that the Indian hirings wouldn't lead to a loss of jobs in the U.S.

• John Ribeiro, IDG News Service

German Insurer, Doctors Test E-health Cards

DUSSELDORF, Germany -- T-Systems International GmbH, the IT services arm of Deutsche Telekom AG, is collaborating with a German health care and insurance group to test electronic health cards ahead of a government mandate to introduce the technology in Germany next year. The pilot, launched last week, involves three doctors' offices, 50 patients of the health care provider Bundesknappschaft and a hospital in the city of Bottrop.

T-Systems is moving ahead with the pilot even though government IT officials have yet to finalize standards for the systems. In addition, health care providers and insurance companies have yet to agree on where and how patient files will be electronically stored, said Volker Apel, health care project director at T-Systems.

Once the pilot project is completed, T-Systems and Bundesknappschaft plan to equip 20,000 insured patients and 75 physicians with the electronic cards during next year's first quarter.

• John Blau, IDG News Service

China Looks to Tighten Control of Online News

BEIJING -- The Chinese government has created a new set of regulations intended to tighten control over news reported on the Internet.

The rules replace a set of regulations implemented in 2000 and go into effect immediately, according to Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency. The regulations were developed by China's Ministry of Information Industry and the State Council, the country's highest administrative body.

The new guidelines encourage Internet news sites to report news that is "healthy" and promotes economic and social progress, Xinhua said.

What impact the new regulations will have wasn't immediately clear. The enforcement of government regulations isn't always consistent and can fluctuate depending on political priorities, said Duncan Clark, managing director at BDA China Ltd., a consulting firm in Beijing.

• Sumner Lemon, IDG News Service

Briefly Noted

Karvy Consultants Ltd. in Hyderabad, India, has set up a business process outsourcing unit called Karvy Global Services Ltd. The new business, which will be officially launched this month, now employs 250 people and plans to have 4,000 workers within five years.

• John Ribeiro, IDG News Service

The World Health Organization has selected Satyam Computer Services Ltd. in Hyderabad to implement an ERP system throughout the WHO's offices in more than 140 countries. The Global Management System will be based on Oracle Corp.'s applications.

Toshiba Corp. plans to show its first notebook computer with a built-in HD-DVD drive at the Ceatec Japan 2005 exhibition next month. The next-generation DVD format, developed by the DVD Forum, will be incorporated in Toshiba's high-end Qosmio notebook line.

• Sumner Lemon, IDG News Service

GLOBAL FACT

9.3%

The estimated percentage of U.K. residents with access to broadband technologies.

Source: Deutsche Bank AG

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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