Microsoft's Steve Ballmer To Visit Israel

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will make his third visit to Israel shortly after the launch of the Windows 8 operating system.

Ballmer’s visit in November will come after the Windows 8 system for PCs, laptops and tablets is introduced on Oct. 26, and ahead of the launch in Israel of the Windows Phone 8 operating system for smartphones, the Israeli business daily Globes reported.

Ballmer will attend events organized by Microsoft Israel and its local development center in Israel. He also will meet with entrepreneurs and developers, as well as leaders of Israel’s economy.

Globes reported that the visit comes at a critical moment for Microsoft, as it must prove its relevance in the tablets and smartphones markets, and demonstrate the innovation of Windows 8 compared with Windows 7.

Ballmer’s second visit to the Jewish state was in 2008 to open Microsoft’s new research and development center in Herzliya Pituach. He first visited Israel in 2004.

“If you do the math, Microsoft is almost as much an Israeli company as it is an American company,” Ballmer said during the 2008 inauguration of the R&D center in Herzliya, according to the technology website The Inquirer.

Ballmer added, “Israel is an excellent example of the outstanding innovation Microsoft is developing globally. I predict that Israel’s importance to Microsoft as a center of innovation will grow significantly in the coming years.”

Microsoft has carried out nine acquisition deals in Israel. The latest was the intellectual property of 3DV Systems in 2009 for $35 million.

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