Now for some good news concerning the relationship between Microsoft and China. Microsoft is currently helping to develop advanced cities with their CityNext initiative. Creating ‘Smart Cities’ has always been a dream of many, and the first step in making a city smart is adding sensors to its infrastructure. While some may think this is the only step in making a smart city, the real work begins with the people and the data from the sensors.
CityNext is a program, designed to modernize cities for the future; to do this, Microsoft helps local government invest in different areas. Focusing on high-tech education helps cities stay competitive and attractive to new companies. Using devices to gather and communicate data enables cities to enforce laws leading to safer neighborhoods. Cities can also use telemedicine to stay in communication with unhealthy citizens, and to provide comfortable and personalized care at a lower cost to emergency services.
In addition to these investments, Microsoft also helps cities take advantage of the data they are gathering from infrastructure sensors. Having an advanced and educated workforce will ensure the longevity of these complicated systems. The investments also leads to citizens being able to better improve their city by bringing technology expertise to local governance. The cycle of the future city begins with safe, healthy, educated, and connected citizens.
Microsoft is not completely selfless though. Getting in on the ground floor with startups will help Microsoft maintain relevancy on the bleeding edge of technology. Microsoft plans to train IT professionals and incubate startups. Although Microsoft does not explicitly say they mainly focus on their technologies, it is not distant assumption to guess they would. Moreover, staying involved in China is crucial to any technology company looking to tap into the 1.36 billion Chinese customers.Further reading: China, CityNext, Microsoft