Microsoft eyes Indian startups for cloud services

The company claims it signed up over 2,000 Indian startups in one year

Microsoft is targeting Indian startups with its cloud services, and has signed up more than 2,000 such customers in the country in the last 12 months, the company’s CEO Satya Nadella said Monday at an event for startups in Bangalore.

A large opportunity ahead for the company is the large number of developers who are building their services around a biometric database, consisting of fingerprints and iris scans, which the country has created of over 1 billion of its people.

Under a new program for the digital exchange of information, called India Stack, the government is offering the biometric system, called Aadhaar, as an authentication mechanism for a variety of services offered by the private sector.

Microsoft aims to provide the cloud infrastructure for many of the developers to rapidly build their services, Nadella said.

Strides Software Solutions, for example, is offering Aadhaar authentication for blood donation banks and is using Azure to scale to 65 banks in just six weeks, its founder Dinesh Mutha said.

But Microsoft’s play in India may extend to also providing Aadhaar authentication in its products. “I would love for our services, whether it is Office 365 or Dynamics 365, anything that we are doing end user or Windows itself, to be great participants in the India Stack,” Nadella said. “I should be able to log in using Aadhaar. I should be able to use any of our applications using the identity system that every Indian uses.”

He hosted on stage for a discussion the person originally in charge of the Aadhaar project, Nandan Nilekani.

Nadella also announced on Monday that one of India’s online retail stars Flipkart had adopted Azure as its exclusive public cloud platform. The retailer was previously using its own data centers. He is expected to announce in Mumbai later this week new customer wins among both startups and larger companies. A Microsoft spokeswoman did not comment.

Gartner said this month that the Indian public cloud services market was worth an estimated US$1.3 billion in 2016, growing to $1.8 billion this year, and to $4 billion in 2020.

One important target for Microsoft's cloud services is the Indian government. The company is already offering its cloud services from data centers in the country to meet local data storage requirements of some of its customers.

Startups are using Microsoft’s advanced cloud services in areas such as big data, internet of things, advanced analytics and cognitive services, Microsoft said. The companies are also using the company’s bot framework to create chat bots and products and services powered by artificial intelligence.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?