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Microsoft completes renewable energy deal for Bengaluru facility

This deal is part of the Karnataka government's programme to encourage investments in local solar energy operations

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Microsoft's new Surface products include 1st-ever headphones. Wikimedia Commons
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  • Microsoft completed its first renewable energy deal in India
  • The deal took place in Bengaluru
  • The deal took place to encourage investments in local solar energy operations

Microsoft on Tuesday said it completed its first renewable energy deal in India which will help power its new office building here with solar power.

As part of the deal, the tech giant will purchase three megawatts of solar-powered electricity from Bengaluru-based renewable power producer Atria Power.

The deal took place in India's IT hub, Bengaluru.
The deal took place in India’s IT hub, Bengaluru.

This will meet 80 percent of the projected electricity needs at the new facility, Microsoft said.

“Investing in local solar energy to help power our new Bengaluru office building is good for Microsoft, good for India and good for the environment,” said Anant Maheshwari, President.

This deal is part of the Karnataka government’s programme to encourage investments in local solar energy operations, and in line with the larger Indian government goal to ramp up solar power generation to 100 gigawatts by 2022.

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“We are proud to be deepening our long history of partnership and investment in India with this agreement. This deal will help us grow sustainably and supports the growth of the Indian solar energy industry, so that the entire country can more easily and reliably access clean electricity,” Maheshwari added.

This is Microsoft’s first solar energy agreement in India, and one of the first in Asia — the company completed a new solar agreement in Singapore last week.

This deal is a part of encouraging use of renewable energy. Pixabay
This deal is a part of encouraging the use of renewable energy. Pixabay

Once completed, this project will bring MS’s total global direct procurement in renewable energy projects to nearly 900 megawatts.

“Microsoft, like India, has ambitious commitments to use more renewable energy,” said Rob Bernard, Chief Environmental Strategist, Microsoft. IANS

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Microsoft Starts Selling Amazon’s Echo Devices

While Alexa accepted personal requests, Cortana helped with business needs

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Microsoft stores start selling Amazon's Echo devices. Pixabay

Following its partnership with Amazon to integrate their two Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered assistants Alexa with Cortana, Microsoft has now started selling Amazon’s Echo devices in its retail stores.

Amazon’s Echo Dot and Echo devices are available online and in Microsoft Stores in the US, The Verge reported on Saturday.

Microsoft introduced Cortana on Windows Phone four years ago. In Windows 10, it became the core search functionality.

The software maker now appears to be pushing it towards more business-focused areas like chat bots rather than its original consumer-focused launch, the report added.

Microsoft has been increasingly focusing on its Amazon partnership and Alexa integration, it added.

Microsoft and Amazon had announced to integrate their virtual assistants last year.

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Microsoft introduced Cortana on Windows Phone four years ago. In Windows 10, it became the core search functionality. Pixabay

The tech giants performed the first such integration between the two intelligent assistants at the “Build 2018” developers’ conference in May this year.

Megan Saunders, Microsoft Cortana General Manager, and Tom Taylor, Amazon Alexa Senior Vice President, showcased how Alexa and Cortana would work together in the near future.

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“For all of you developers out there building skills, Cortana and Alexa will enable access to more people across more devices. And we can’t wait to see what you build,” said Saunders.

While Alexa accepted personal requests, Cortana helped with business needs.

The integration works with the command: “Alexa, open Cortana.” (IANS)