Today in Israel:
Microsoft on Wednesday signed a deal with Israel’s government to establish a joint program to give Israeli start-ups financial and technological support from the U.S. software giant.
Microsoft forged the deal with Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist during Chairman Bill Gates’ first ever visit to Israel. Gate later will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
Microsoft will provide $1.4 million in funds over three years.
Companies chosen to work with Microsoft will initially receive technical consultation on Microsoft products, early exposure on future Microsoft software, technical advice on its open platform and consulting advice on intellectual property protection, Microsoft said in a statement.
In later stages, Israeli businesses cooperating with Microsoft would receive joint marketing and public relations as well as business development and additional exposure to international markets.
On Monday in France:
Microsoft plans to give a helping hand to French start-ups that want to develop software using its technology. The company is finalizing partnerships with 15 European venture capital firms to provide technical, sales and marketing support to 25 software start-ups in which they have invested, it announced Monday.
The venture capital firms are looking to Microsoft to support the software firms in which they have invested, to make them better-known in France and abroad, it said.
On Monday afternoon, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates is scheduled to discuss the future of software innovation in France with French IT executives at an event hosted by the French Minister of Industry, François Loos.
Through a technology center in Paris, Microsoft plans to help developers in France test their applications in different hardware and software environments, and will give them access to other technical resources to speed up their work. In addition, it will promote their activities through its own marketing events, it said Monday.
The start-ups will also be encouraged to support one another, through a private newsgroup moderated by engineers from Microsoft’s French software support group.
Microsoft has already identified eight start-ups which will benefit from the project: Aliantiz SARL, Excentive, Lexifi SAS, Prim’X Technologies SA, Reportive, Soorce SA, Total Immersion SA and Voluntis SA. The other 17 will be selected from the investments of the venture-capital partners.