Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, the world’s top software and PC firms, on Thursday announced plans for a new product development centre in Taiwan, the world’s computer-manufacturing hub.

Companies such as HP and Dell are the world’s top sellers of PCs, but most of the actual hardware — about 80 percent of all laptops — is made by Taiwan firms including Quanta Computer and Compal Electronics.

"Microsoft and HP solution centres will help advance the technology of our Taiwanese business partners and corporate clients," John Knutsen, Director of Global Microsoft Technology Center, said at a news conference.

Microsoft said the centre would be focused on developing advanced software, hardware and improving technical support to its Taiwan partners such as Quanta, the world’s largest contract laptop maker.

The two companies said they expect the new centre will be able to generate a return of T$2.5 billion ($83 million) worth of sales in five years.

There are now 16 Microsoft technology centres in the world, including in Dubai, France, Germany, Britain, Bangalore and the United States, said Knutsen.

Software giant Microsoft said earlier this month that it had not seen any major impact on its businesses from an economic slowdown, particularly in the United States, and that it has been helped by emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil and Russia.

Hewlett-Packard posted forecast-beating quarterly earnings last month and has said its strategies in emerging markets will help it weather a tough economic climate this year.

Source- Reuters