Microsoft to build $ 500 mln data centre in Ireland

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DUBLIN, Nov 6 (Reuters) Microsoft Corp said on Tuesday it will spend 0 million on building a new European data processing centre in Ireland.

Microsoft said in a statement the planned Dublin centre will house tens of thousands of servers providing information and Web-based applications to Internet users.

Construction will begin later this month with the centre expected to be completed by 2009.

''This is the first mega data centre' deployment outside the U.S. specifically targeted for the growth and performance of Windows Live services,'' said John Mangelaars, Vice President, Microsoft Online Services Group, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The firm said an additional ''substantial'' investment was planned to kit out the centre with server technology.

The 51,000 square metre facility will deliver Windows Live services and store data for the company's online services businesses such as MSN and Windows Live.

Industry sources said the highly automated facility would create around 20 jobs. Microsoft employs 1,200 staff in Ireland at another site in Dublin.

The company said the Irish government and regional administration had shown ''great commitment to growing next-generation businesses''.

''The fact that Ireland has been selected as the location for this strategic infrastructure is a very strong endorsement of the success of our operations here over the past 22 years,'' Microsoft Ireland Managing Director Joe Macri said.

REUTERS BJR HS1626

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