Touch screens at booth of Microsoft at comput
Touch screens at booth of Microsoft at computReuters

Microsoft is increasing its focus on Israel and will send 25 of its senior officials to its Israel Research and Development center in Herzliya this month. Leading the delegation will be Microsoft’s chief research officer, Richard Rashid, according to Globes.

The Israeli center has become a fundamental part of Microsoft Research, one of the world’s largest R & D centers.

Google and General Electric are two of several other large companies to invest money for research in Israel, which has become the Silicon Valley of the Middle East.

A Think Next conference in Tel Aviv this month will feature 20 Israeli start-ups and new technologies developed at Microsoft Israel, and the company also will unveil new products at a Be Next conference, also in Tel Aviv.

It is expected to show off its new SQL Server 2012, Windows Server 8 and System Server.  

Arutz Sheva reported last month that Microsoft has chosen Israel for its first-ever startup accelerator to encourage the use of cloud-based applications using Windows Azure.

The “cloud” concept allows an individual or company to provide information without having to rely on software programs.

Microsoft is involved in other accelerators, but the Israeli venture is the first time it is running one with its own employees.