Microsoft senior executives and government officials gathered Wednesday to celebrate the software giant’s 25th anniversary in Puerto Rico, a history marked by innovation and collaboration to accelerate the growth of the local IT industry and advance socio-economic development.
“Over the last 25 years, Microsoft has played a key role in the technological transformation that we have been living globally, where mobility and cloud come first and we are all connected,” said Hernán Rincón, president of Microsoft Latin America, at a ceremony in the facilities of Microsoft Operations Puerto Rico in Humacao.
Developments such as reducing the digital divide, the development of the PC, the adoption of the Internet, the use of productivity services such as email or “cloud computing,” represent important pillars that Microsoft has made available to citizens, businesses, academia and government.
“Microsoft has shown it is committed to the promotion of innovation in information technology, by creating opportunities for all citizens to have access to technology as the vehicle to compete and profit in the knowledge economy,” said Marco Casarin, general manager of Microsoft Puerto Rico.
As part of its commitment to Puerto Rico, Casarin unveiled the impact of some of the company’s initiatives on the island, including the “Cloud Island Initiative,” the “Student Advantage” program at the University of Puerto Rico, the BA degree in Microsoft technology and the JumpStart/BizSpark programs. Microsoft also has an ecosystem of partner businesses consisting of more than 822 Puerto Rico-based technology companies.
As for the future, Casarin said Microsoft will continue to invest in software donations and technological trainings with new programs focused on the development of labor skills needed to succeed in the 21st century.
“Borrowing from what Bill Gates said in his 40th anniversary message to Microsoft employees, we have accomplished much during these first 25 years. We have promoted a number of companies, academic institutions and individuals, to reach their potential,” Casarin said. “But what matters more is what we’re going to do next. For that reason, we remain focused on investing in initiatives to reduce the digital divide, as well as educational and entrepreneurial efforts.”
Antonio Medina-Comas, executive director of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, said the island has to continue betting companies such as Microsoft and the development of the information technology segment.
“The future of our economy is precisely in those areas where technology, quality and knowledge are mixed to develop innovative solutions tomorrow’s problems,” said Medina.