While Bill Gates and his global team celebrated the launch of Microsoft Corp's much awaited Vista operating system in the Times Square and elsewhere in the world, the city of Charminar had its own reasons to exult.
Some 330 engineers in Microsoft's India Development Centre at Hyderabad engineered some of the most important features of the software — and filed 40 patents to prove that. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer had during his visit to India in November taken time off to party with the engineers based in the Hi-Tec City complex. Five years ago,when Windows had launched Windows XP with 40 people involved from Hyderabad, it was a case of developing individual technologies in parts (for e.g. Internet Explorer) in India and integrating them with the global team from Redmond.
“Now, we have taken ownership of some of the technologies such as security from viruses, PC backup and restore functions and fax and scan applications. These were developed and conceptualised by Indian engineers," said Amit Chatterjee, general manager, Windows, who spearheaded the Vista work in India.
He had started assembling a team for this way back in 2001, bringing in coders, programme managers and architects who design the structure of the software.
“Right from the beginning we wanted to build on the credibility that India had gained and the challenge was to take this to show to the world that Indian engineers can build world-class products,” he said. It took Chatterjee three months to build a team of 300. The journey was far from smooth during the Vista journey.
Recently, international analysts blasted Microsoft for delays in shipments. “It was hard because every time we thought we had solved a particular software problem, another one would crop up,” Chatterjee said. However, a motivating factor for the employees was the fact that a billion people all over the world would use their work and this operating system would drive most of the world's computers over the next decade. All this helped to calm the nerves of Microsoft India employees, Chatterjee said.
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