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Cong eyes Microsoft technologies to reach out to rural masses

delhi Updated: Jun 17, 2010 18:00 IST

PTI
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Congress is keen to deploy Microsoft display technologies that enable projection into any surface including walls to interact with rural masses from its headquarters in Delhi, a top official of the software giant's Indian entity said today.

"...the Congress party is imagining how to use these kinds of displays with rural, semi-literate or illiterate
environment", Microsoft Corporation (India) Chairman Ravi Venkatesan said at the sixth India innovation summit,
organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here.

Explaining that the company's display technologies enable projection into any surface including walls, tabletops and
windows, he said Microsoft had already come out with a proof-of-concept with regard to this technologies.

He said one of the "most interesting and practical conversation" he had around display technologies is with the
Congress party.

"They (Congress party) are very interested in grass-roots engagements to get illiterate and semi-literate villagers to
interact with party headquaters", he said.

"...big revolution that's imminent is around large screens", he said, noting its potential application in
transforming distance education.

Venkatesan said with such a technology (which does not need servers but requires cameras), "any surface can be made
into a display....you can project on to a wall...use the wall itself...table tops..", adding, he expects display technology
to be "ubiquitous" in the next five years.

He also said any Indian firm aspiring to become a Microsoft or a Google need have tremendous patience to undergo
a long cycle of innovation.

Venkatesan pointed out that Microsoft started making money on its gaming business after ten years, while Google
also took many years before it made money by "marrying" the search engine with online advertising.

"Do we have the patience to this kind of long cycle of innovation ?. If not, we better develop them", he said,
adding, the tendency in India largely is to make "quick-buck".

Venkatesan said may be there are very few companies in India that have the "appetite" to take such kinds of risk
(long cycle of innovation), and "that's the problem".