Microsoft Locates Worldwide Oil and Gas Business in Dubai, Positions to Tackle Tough Industry Challenges

    Seven years of vertical focus drive momentum and depth in

    HOUSTON, Feb. 10 /CNW/ -- Speaking from the Cambridge Energy Research
Associates' CERAWeek 2009 gathering in Houston today, Albrecht (Ali) Ferling,
Ph.D., managing director, Worldwide Oil and Gas Industries for Microsoft
Corp., announced that the leadership for the company's worldwide oil and gas
industry business is now located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, one of the
most international cities in the world and a rising hub for global business.
Ferling previously directed the company's global industry initiatives from
Vienna, Austria.
    "Our industry is facing unprecedented challenges that demand a truly
borderless response," Ferling said. "From Dubai, Microsoft will be centrally
located for ready access to our customers in the prevailing and emerging
energy centers of the world. Future demand growth will come largely from
countries like China, India and the Middle East. Dubai, located midway between
Central Europe and the Far East, is ideal for business travel to all oil
capitals, from Houston to Beijing. And with the power ultimately shifting from
consumer to producer in the global energy equation, the Middle East is an
important location for Microsoft and our partners."
    Ferling cites the worldwide economic downturn and credit crisis, along
with the resulting industry trends including increasing mergers, acquisitions,
consolidations, pricing pressures, continuing cost escalation and the drive
for productivity enhancements, as key focus areas for Microsoft and its global
network of software and integration partners.
    "We have oil and gas initiatives in more than 70 countries, and every day
we see innovations arising from our partner ecosystem that give operators and
service providers the tools they need to grapple with today's industry,"
Ferling said. "We are 100 percent focused on solving real-world field
challenges that stand in the way of global energy supply and demand."
    Ferling points to Microsoft's progress in high-performance computing
(HPC) as a prime example. "Just a year ago, Microsoft's HPC capabilities
ranked 116 among the world's fastest supercomputers," he said. "In November
our technology, run by the Shanghai Supercomputer Center and Dawning, broke
into the ranks of the top 10. That means that geoscientists the world over now
have the advantage of reduced costs and complexity, a rapid development
environment for HPC applications, and seamless scale from workstation to
clusters through a familiar Windows desktop environment.
    "These solutions help reduce risk in decision-making across the entire
oil and gas value chain," Ferling continued. "For example, offshore oil and
gas operator, Dubai Petroleum Establishment (DPE), requested a fast and
cost-effective solution for running its reservoir simulations to reduce the
uncertainty in its drilling and production operations. The combination of
Windows HPC Server 2008 with proprietary reservoir software will give DPE use
of 3-D modeling with high-performance computing speed. The solution offers
extraordinary and ongoing price advantages over similar open source
    In outlining Microsoft's vision for oil and gas, Ferling set out the
company's ongoing priorities. "We're continuing to tackle the creation of
technology solutions for some of the industry's top priorities -- better
collaboration, unified communications and role-based productivity -- to
fundamentally change the way people work by introducing novel workflows that
maximize scarce labor talent and bring the information to workers wherever
they are," he said.
    As evidence of this commitment, Ferling listed several top priorities
underway at Microsoft today. These include initiatives to help the industry do
the following:
    --  Drive corporate performance and manage risk and compliance to reduce
time-to-decision across the oil- and gas-tiered value network
    --  Accelerate the process of innovation to improve time-to-oil by
leveraging new technologies, global collaboration teams, and new alliances and
    --  Enable a resilient and high-velocity supply chain performance network
to respond flexibly to market changes and new opportunities across multiple
enterprises and organizations, from the wellhead to the pump
    --  Build flexible and integrated refining and petrochemical operations
to achieve high-quality performance at lower cost
    --  Observe and serve customers globally with insights into their
specific needs
    "Over the past seven years since Microsoft created a business dedicated
to the oil and gas industry, we have moved from residing solely on our
customer's desktops to accompanying them deep into field operations," Ferling
concluded. "As Marathon digitizes its oil fields, as Schlumberger launches
leading-edge software, and as many other oil and gas companies move forward
into the future, Microsoft and our partners are there with the technology
solutions they need to succeed in the vital task of securing the supply for
the world's energy demands. That in a nutshell is Microsoft's vision for our
global oil and gas business -- whether it's in the Middle East, the Gulf of
Mexico or anywhere else exploration and production are taking place."
    More information about Microsoft in oil and gas is available at
    Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq:   MSFT) is the worldwide leader in
software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their
full potential.

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For further information: NOTE TO EDITOR: If you are interested in
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information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at
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information: pr.mspx./ /CONTACT: Virginia Brooks of Brooks & Associates,
+1-214-923-5859,, for Microsoft; or Wendy
Grover of Microsoft, +1-425-705-7609,

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