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Microsoft opens Palo Alto center

The new Silicon Valley facility will be a resource for Bay Area developers, start-ups, and venture capital firms.

Microsoft opens its Silicon Valley Developer Center today, a new facility dedicated to training and assistance for software developers, the company said.

The new Palo Alto center, along with the company's upcoming Silicon Valley campus, brings Microsoft to the home turf of rivals Netscape, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems.

The center is targeted as a resource for area developers, start-ups, and venture capital firms. Previously, these groups had to travel to Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, for such services, a Microsoft spokesperson said.

"The more support developers receive, the better it is for consumers," said Ken Wasch, president of the Software Publishers Association.

Silicon Valley is home to 1,200 Windows software vendors, according to Microsoft. Additionally, over 25 percent of all Microsoft Developer Network Startups Program participants are located in the Bay Area.

"This is our first center here in the Valley," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "There are so many developers here in the Valley that want to have support, we though it would be easier if they had access to training and support here in the area."

The "DevCenter," headed by Larry Cohen, former group product manager for MSN HomeAdviser online real estate service, will offer resources on emerging Microsoft technologies, as well as speakers, special interest group meetings, and training programs, the company said.

Microsoft also announced the creation of its Developer Center Advisory Group, including Heidi Roizen of Roizen Associates, Guy Kawasaki, CEO of, and Russ Siegelman, partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

The center will be located in Palo Alto until 1999, when Microsoft's Silicon Valley campus is completed.