Microsoft pushes IT in Siberia

Microsoft said it plans to help support government use of IT in a city in Russia.

Microsoft is working with one local government in Siberia on improving the use of IT by the government in the region, the software giant said this week.

A new Microsoft data center could be built in Siberia, too, although Microsoft said that's still uncertain. "Though Microsoft Russia is working on potential data center construction in Russia, we are still far from final site selection," said Evgeny Danilov, Microsoft Russia's director of public relations, in a statement.

The topic of a data center came up as part of discussions between Microsoft and the Irkutsk regional government. The two have signed a memorandum of understanding that includes an agreement to expand IT use in the government sector and to launch IT training programs in the area. Irkutsk is a city in Siberia.

Microsoft and the Irkutsk regional administration plan to continue the data center discussion at a later date, Microsoft said.

Microsoft has recently announced new data centers in Chicago and Dublin, Ireland. Other Microsoft data centers are being built in Quincy, Washington, and Austin, Texas. The new facilities will support Microsoft's Web services.

Russia is in the midst of finalizing and deploying an e-government strategy that aims to ensure that IT systems used in different government agencies interoperate, and that citizens can access government information online.

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