Microsoft Israel annual developers conference

Microsoft and Israeli Hi-Tech

Hey everyone,

iPhone or Android?

Among my friends we all have strong opinions on the issue. We each pick our OS and promote our choice over and over, much like my sister Sarah when she speaks about Israel.

Well, for Israelis, things just got a bit trickier. Windows 8 for smartphones was launched at the Microsoft Discovery event today in Tel Aviv. For the first time, Israelis will be able to have Windows on their phones in Hebrew! It would have been so cool to be at that Discovery Day – new gadgets, new software and of course Israelis; it must have been something.

My guess is that in a year from now the question will be: iPhone, Android or Windows?

Not only was Microsoft show-padding all its latest bling, but Steve Ballmer – the CEO of Microsoft – came as well and met with the Israeli government and Prime Minister Netanyahu. They signed agreements relating to research and development, online government services and promoting Israeli tech & start-ups. Mr. Ballmer said that it was his fourth visit… ummm… he’s been more times to Israel than me.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer meets with Prime Minister Netanyahu

Microsoft and Steve love Israel so much that Microsoft R&D Israel Center is one of their largest R&D centers in the world, plus Israel was Steve’s first stop on his Windows 8 World Promo Tour. I guess I’m not the only one to think that Israel is a real special place.

But things don’t stop there for Israel and tech this past week. EMC, a data storage company, opened its second EMC Labs facility in the world in none other than Israel, with the first being in China. And  the CEO of Intel came all the way from the USA just to be in Israel for the announcement of a high school program funded by Intel to train the next wave of techies in the country. I do wonder – who loves Israel more: me or the CEOs of the world’s most successful hi-tech companies?

Now for some cool facts:

  • Israel has the highest number of Hi-Tech start-ups outside of the USA
  • Israel has the fourth largest science industry per capita in the world
  • After China, Israel has the most number of companies listed on the tech heavy NASDAQ exchange
  • The center of Israel is called Silicon Wadi (Translation of Valley into Arabic)

Speaking of which, since Israel is the Hi-Tech place to be outside of California, I’ve been thinking: should I do a Hi-Tech internship in Israel next summer? Perhaps with Career Israel? Some of my friends have already done an Israeli hi-tech internship and have had an awesome time, plus it will look great on my Resume.

Thoughts people?

Joe

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