Crown Prince launches Brunei Microsoft office
By Azrol Azmi & Azaraimy

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office yesterday consented to launch an office for Microsoft in Brunei Darussalam.

Microsoft Corporation's new sales and marketing office in the Sultanate marks the first multinational software technology company to establish its presence here.

The event began with the recital of a doa selamat following the arrival of HRH the Crown Prince at The Mall in Gadong. A welcoming speech by Mr Chris Atkinson, President, Microsoft - Southeast Asia, followed.

The Crown Prince then consented to launch the office. Earlier, a demonstration on Windows Vista and Office 2007 with a brief video presentation was shown to the Crown Prince and guests attending the event.

The Crown Prince also consented to receive a 'Pasambah'.

The Crown Prince later had a closer look at the Microsoft Windows Vista at one of the Microsoft design kiosks. HRH then signed a commemoration plaque in conjunction with the launching of Microsoft's office in Brunei.

Addressing over 100 government officials, diplomats and partners at the event, Mr Atkinson said the establishment of the subsidiary office in Brunei reflects Microsoft's deep commitment and a show of support for the creation of a vibrant local information technology economy.

He added that with the presence of Microsoft's office in the capital, he hoped it will be able to bring some of the best practices from the region to the people of Brunei to realise the potential and opportunities in the emerging market.

"We aim to provide the community with the tools, techniques and technology to build a knowledge-based company with capacity building, development and training skills being some of our core focus here in Brunei," he said.

He also sees that the opening of a Microsoft office in Brunei is timely and aligned to the call by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in his titah during the 23rd National Day celebration where the ruler called for better focus and investments to drive innovative intellectual manpower within the nation.

Also, the opening of the subsidiary office comes just weeks after the company announced the global release of its most important software to date - Microsoft Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system and Exchange Server 2007.

Microsoft in Brunei is expected to host an upcoming event to launch these new flagship products.

Mr Atkinson also said that the Government of Brunei has shown great leadership and a strong vision for the future and was privileged to sign a MoU with the government in December 2005, which reflected the breadth and depth of the partnership between the Government of Brunei and Microsoft.

The office is the 13th in Asia Pacific and will be located at 13-1, PGGMB Building, Jalan Kianggeh, in the capital.

The company develops, manufactures and licences a wide range of software, including operating systems for personal computers, mobile phones, and intelligent devices. Also included are server applications for distributed environments and productivity applications for information workers. (27th February 2007)