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Microsoft CEO Nadella invokes Ghalib to talk about technology, future apps

tech Updated: May 31, 2016 07:17 IST
Anirban Ghoshal

Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft Corporation, with junior finance minister Jayant Sinha at an event in New Delhi on Monday.(Virendra Singh Gosain/HT Photo)

“Hazaaron khwaishein aisi, ke har khwaish pe dum nikle. Bohot nikle mere armaan, fir bhi kam nikle” (I have a thousand desires, all desires worth dying for, though many of my desires were fulfilled, a majority remained unfulfilled).

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella invoked on Monday poet Ghalib to speak technology, quoting from one of the finest poems of the 19th century ‘shayar’ to drive home the power of dreams to youngsters of the country.

In between, he also spoke about his and the company’s dreams – about future apps to help drive innovation and empower the people of India.

He met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a strong advocate of digital initiatives to enhance the quality of life, though the details of their discussions were not disclosed.

Coming after Apple CEO Tim Cook’s and Dell Inc’s Michael Dell’s trips to India, Nadella arrived in India in the backdrop of the company’s attempts to source the app development talent pool in the country and as well as drive its productivity services including cloud.

Nadella said his company was trying to teach computers the human language to make computing faster by using artificial intelligence assistants such as Cortana, a programme that runs on most Windows devices and gets tasks done by speech recognition.

“We are going to bring in bots which will result in democratisation for developers who would look at reinventing apps for speech recognition via a virtual assistant that would make human lives easier,” said the Indian-born Nadella on his third visit to the country since taking charge of the software giant.

What he meant was that the company was looking at giving equal opportunities for developers to access Microsoft technology, which in turn will help people in day-to-day lives.

“It is not about celebrating our own technology, it is about celebrating the technology that India creates,” he said during his keynote at Microsoft’s ‘Tech for Good, Ideas for India’. The audience comprised students, young achievers, developers and entrepreneurs.

During a question and answer session, Nadella asked youngsters to “continue being bold and ambitious.”

Earlier in the day, the chief executive met telecommunications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and is believed to have discussed the company’s participation in Digital India initiative.

Microsoft is already running pilot projects to bring low-cost solution to internet connectivity in India. Last year, it launched the TV White Spaces technology that uses unutilised low-band frequency to transmit data. The initiative has found more favour with the Indian government than rival Google’s Project Loon and Facebook’s Free Basics programme.

“CEO @Microsoft @satyanadella met me today. Discussed in enhancing cooperation with Microsoft towards @_DigitalIndia,” Prasad tweeted.

Nadella met industry leaders during a conclave orgainsed by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) where he reiterated his vision of participating in Modi’s flagship Digital India initiative.

The chief executive first visited India soon after taking over from Steve Ballmer as CEO in February, 2014. On the occasion of Microsoft’s 25 years in India, he had then launched three local data centres offering Azure cloud services. His second visit in December was a personal trip.

Read more: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in India, to focus on cloud, net connectivity