Microsoft Corp., Israel agree to strategic cooperation

JEURSALEM (JTA) — Israel and the Microsoft Corporation have agreed to a strategic cooperation to advance computing technology.

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Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer met on Monday in Israel with government officials 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 to be enshrined in the memorandums 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.

Balmer met on Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz. Netanyahu and Balmer discussed Microsoft’s commitment to Israel, its investments in the local market, and the impact it is having, 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 on Monday, Microsoft launched its Windows 8 smartphones in Israel. 

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