Google plans to open first R&D centre outside US in Bangalore S Rajagopalan Washington, December 12
Google, the king of Internet search engines, is homing in on Bangalore for its first research and development centre outside the US. The centre is slated to open in March and will initially employ about 100 engineers, the Mountain View, California-based company announced on Thursday. Significantly, Google's decision has been driven not by the usual cost-cutting quest, but by a wish to tap India�s "considerable engineering and technical talent". The new facility will enable the company to continue to develop services for its users and customers worldwide, a spokesperson said. The Google move comes just when Microsoft and Yahoo are spending colossal sums to challenge the growing dominance of what they dismissed as a smaller player in the search engine market till not too long ago. The New York Times reported last week that Microsoft was seeking a partnership or buyout, but was rebuffed by Google. For India, the Google decision to set up shop in Bangalore will be a shot in the arm, coming at a time when it is trying to consolidate its position as one of the major global IT players. The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the Google plans, quoted company vice-president Wayne Rosing as saying: "We just want more really great engineers. It�s clear there are a significant number of really talented computer scientists in India." Google�s current research centres are in California and New York. The company employs about 1,000 technical hands working in 21 offices. The difficulties of obtaining US work visas for more professionals is one of the factors that has led Google to move to India. A closely held company, Google has been in the news lately for another reason as well: its much-speculated plan to make an initial public offering early next year. The company, however, has not made any formal comment on the issue yet. One of the top brains to have brought Google to its present stature is Krishna Bharat, a product of IIT Chennai, the man who launched Google News. In February this year, Google won the US patent for the method invented by Bharat, its Principal Scientist, to determine the relevance of web pages in relation to search queries.
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