Microsoft, Israel agree to strategic cooperation


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel and the Microsoft Corp. agreed to a strategic cooperation to advance computing technology.

Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer met Monday in Israel with government officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and  Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, to discuss the cooperation.

A series of memorandums of understanding will be signed in the coming days by Israel’s chief information officer, Carmela Avner, and Microsoft Israel CEO Danny Yamin, according to reports.

The agreements are in the areas of technological innovation; promoting open government policies; use of technology to reduce bureaucracy; dealing with large databases; information security and privacy protection; development of online government services; collaborative projects; and promoting Israeli technologies and start-ups, according to The Marker, the business publication of Haaretz.

In their meeting Monday, Netanyahu and Balmer discussed Microsoft’s commitment to Israel, and the company’s investments in the Israeli market and their impact, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

"This is my fourth visit to Israel and I am always excited and inspired by the sheer technological ingenuity of its people and entrepreneurs, a key reason why it’s such an important market for Microsoft," Balmer said.

Also Monday, Microsoft launched its Windows 8 smartphones in Israel. 

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