Microsoft Hosts Leaders From Across Europe to Discuss European Competitiveness

By Microsoft Corp., PRNE
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Government and industry meeting highlights cloud momentum in Europe.

LONDON, November 4, 2010 - Speaking to leading figures from government, industry and academia from
across Europe at the Government Leaders Forum Europe (GLF) in London,
Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer called for a new level of
collaboration across industry and with government to advance progress on
critical economic and social challenges in Europe. He focused his remarks on
the role of technology, and cloud computing in particular, in driving
transformation, especially in public sector, and underlined Microsoft's
commitment in Europe towards this goal.


"I believe we are just beginning to discover the value that technology
innovation can deliver in Europe. The cloud has the capacity to transform the
services we use, the organisations we work for and the countries we live in,"
Ballmer said. "The cloud has arrived in Europe, but we need innovation on the
policy front to meet innovation in the technology space. Today, I hope to
spark some new dreams about the potential impact that a new generation of
technology advances will have on people's lives so that we can plan together
to drive a new wave of economic growth in the region."

On behalf of the company, Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft
International, opened the forum calling on all industry and government
stakeholders to engage in the development on the Digital Single Market. He
articulated the range of policy issues that need to be worked on together in
the context of the emerging cloud era.

"I see great examples of the cloud breaking through in businesses and
government, with our partners, and it is creating transformation that was not
possible even three years ago. But despite progress, there is a real risk of
disconnect on the cloud in Europe in terms of reaching our full potential,"
Courtois said. "Policy issues such as privacy, security, data sovereignty and
broadband access are coming together in the context of the cloud, and are of
concern to all stakeholders at the forefront of this transformation. We look
forward to continuing this dialogue and welcome industry-wide participation
as we move forward responsibly on these important topics."

Discussion at the GLF focused on five themes, all tied to the EU2020
Agenda. They include competition, focusing on European competitiveness and
the evolving role of jobs, skills and education; economics, exploring the
impact of technology and R&D on our economic, social and environmental
landscapes; health and welfare, which examine opportunities for new models in
eHealth; the Digital Single Market, discussing needed reforms and
regulations; and eGovernment, exploring data governance and the evolution of
digital citizen services.

"What is unmistakable is that each of these themes presents an
opportunity for Europe to lead the world. This gathering presents a
tremendous opportunity for dialogue and cooperation to help advance these
agendas in Europe, drive forward our own transformation, and set an example
for the rest of the world to follow," Courtois concluded.

More than 300 public sector organisations in Europe are currently using
the Microsoft cloud. This backs up recent cloud momentum in the public
sector, including a new private cloud agreement with the governments in
Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and Bremen with Dataport, which is piloting the
cloud application "Government CloudMail" to provide infrastructures,
platforms and applications.

"Governments across Europe are looking for new and more cost-effective
ways to serve and engage their citizens, and the cloud is already part of the
answer," outlined Linda Zecher, corporate vice president, Microsoft Worldwide
Public Sector. "Helping governments implement cloud-based solutions is not
just about making public service delivery less expensive, it is about making
it smarter, faster and more responsive to the needs of citizens."

The GLF is Microsoft's keynote gathering for government leaders, focused
on driving a shared agenda on how technology can accelerate progress on
economic growth and competitiveness goals. It is designed to support new
channels for collaboration between government and industry, and was tasked
this year with providing impetus towards the EU2020 Agenda.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in
software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise
their full potential.

About Microsoft EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)

Microsoft has operated in EMEA since 1982. In the region Microsoft
employs more than 16,000 people in over 64 subsidiaries, delivering products
and services in more than 139 countries and territories.

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Jesse Verstraete of Microsoft Corp., +32473903707, Jesse.Verstraete at; or Kate Lord, +447983070255,. klord at, for Microsoft Corp. / NOTE TO EDITORS: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft in EMEA, please visit or the EMEA Press Centre at Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at the time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact the appropriate contacts listed at If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft Corp, please visit the Microsoft News Center at on Microsoft's corporate information pages.

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