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Microsoft to assess software quality in India

Company announces a certification program for Indian software vendors to boost product development.

Microsoft has launched a quality certification program to boost product development by Indian software companies.

The program is designed to help vendors adopt international standards for engineering and development. Software consulting firm QAI India will offer the program.

The program will cover training and tools, development process and certification. It may take up to six months for the program to be completed, and it costs about $2,800 (125,000 rupees). So far, three companies--Talisma, PacSoft and Skelta--have signed up.

The National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom), an Indian software industry trade body, estimated that the software products market will grow to between $8 billion and $11 billion by 2010. At present, it said, product development is marred by issues related to quality and costs.

"The increasing investment of global product development companies in research and development centers across India is an indication of the tremendous potential of the Indian software development community, particularly in creating globally accepted products," Sheila Gulati, director of developer and platform evangelism at Microsoft India, said in a statement. "Our endeavor is to build a rich, local software ecosystem and to help the Indian ISV (independent software vendor) community develop great products and deliver world class IP (intellectual property)."

This week Nasscom also announced a national entry-level test in India for workers joining call centers and other outsourcing jobs, in a move designed to boost quality of output.