China and Japan, both are two of the most important markets for computing technology, and as a company that is at the forefront, Microsoft seems well aware of the growth potential of both.

So much so that Redmond is planning to hire thousands of new workers in China, according to CEO Steve Ballmer and his comments during a press conference in Shanghai. The new workers would help the company increase its focus on cloud computing, including Windows Azure.

The technology titan currently employees 4,000 people in China — and this workforce could potentially double in around one year if things go according to plan.

Microsoft is set to launch a public preview of Azure in China next month, and it already signed a deal with the 12ViaNet group back in November 2012.

As for the Japanese market, Ballmer says that the technology titan is well aware of its remarkable potential, and plans to take full advantage of it by enlarging the capacities and capabilities of its Windows Azure platform.

The CEO was talking at a news conference in Japan about Microsoft’s plans for Japan and the cloud computing services in the country. Ballmer explained that this market segment was continually growing:

“Opportunity in Japan for growth and innovation we find incredible. Japan is our second largest subsidiary and I have a lot of optimism about our process here in Japan.”

He further pointed to an IDC forecast which estimated that Japan’s cloud computing market is poised for so much growth that it could reach $3.5 billion annually by 2017.

Microsoft has increased its focus on cloud services manifold these past couple of years. The Windows Azure service in particular has witnessed impressive growth, and Microsoft recently announced that it plans to open two new Windows Azure data centers in Australia.

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  1. The English in this article is broken.

  2. Does this mean they are going to get the MS Japan office off their rearends and put out a real Windows 8 phone? Even third world countries have them. The major telecoms all had plans for them until MS decided “there wasnt enough market for them”. If I was Balmer, I would fire the whole lot of them.

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