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Bill Gates opens Microsoft European support center in Romania

Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates opened a $16 mln center in Romania to offer technical support to customers throughout Europe.

Gates inaugurated the center, which will employ 150 people from several eastern European countries, during a visit to Bucharest, Romania's capital. „The work done here in Romania will help our customers throughout Europe to handle their most complex problems,” Gates said in a news conference at the center today. „The opening of the global support center is confirmation of the great technical skills being developed in Romania. This is something in which will continue to invest.” A workforce educated in information technology and willing to accept lower wages is drawing some companies to shift some operations to Romania, a Balkan nation which joined the European Union on January 1. Oracle Corp., the world's third-largest software maker, in 2004 picked Romania for a similar client-support center. Microsoft already employs about 100 Romanians at its office in Bucharest, which it opened 10 years ago, and more than 300 in Seattle, according to the company. (Bloomberg)