Microsoft Sep2914
Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella interacting with the company's staff at its center in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad on Monday Microsoft

Microsoft Corp. will offer Indian customers the company’s cloud computing services from local data centers by the end of 2015, CEO Satya Nadella said Tuesday, on the second day of his two-day visit to India.

Cloud computing refers to renting computer processing, storage and software applications located on the Internet for a subscription fee, instead of purchasing them outright. Large companies the world over are moving to this model to save money, and improve their products and services. And, local data centers would help meet legal regulations on data security and privacy, and reduce latency, or the time taken for electronic data to move from one point to another on a network, helping companies accelerate their move to cloud computing.

“With more than 250 million Indians using Internet-connected devices today, there is incredible demand and opportunity for India with Microsoft’s cloud services,” Nadella said in a statement.

Most countries have some form of regulation that typically requires sensitive data to reside on local data centers.

Microsoft’s cloud services in India have grown over 100 percent in revenue in the past year, according to the statement, although in absolute numbers, Microsoft’s cloud computing revenues in India are very small in comparison with its biggest markets.

Indian IT services companies such as Bangalore-based Wipro Ltd., play the role of systems integrator partners, or vendors who implement and customize Microsoft’s software, such as its Azure cloud computing platform and the Office 365 suite.

“Data center market in India is seeing huge growth powered by increased digitization and use of mobility for both business and leisure,” Wipro’s CEO TK Kurien said in the statement, adding that local data centers would also help because “there are sections of industry concerned about data sovereignty and cost of connectivity.”

Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990 and now employs more than 6,000 people at centers including a Microsoft Research lab in Bangalore and a software development center in Hyderabad, where Nadella met with Indian staff on Monday.

Later on Tuesday, the company is expected to provide a first look at what has informally been dubbed Windows 9, the latest version of Windows, the computer operating system that Microsoft is best known for.