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Surprise visit by Bill Gates

Calcutta, Dec. 4: Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is flying into Calcutta tomorrow on a brief visit to meet chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

Government sources expect the meeting to take place around 5 pm. The sources said the request for the meeting came from Gates and that there was no agenda as the talks were set up at short notice.

Officially, the visit is being described as a courtesy call by the Microsoft chief whose formal engagements were to have begun on Tuesday in Delhi.

One reason for Gates’s visit could be pursuing Microsoft’s plan for a school education project, using a specialised Windows operating system in Bengali.

It is also possible that Gates wants to base one of his foundation’s anti-AIDS projects in Bengal.

Whether or not he has any plans to start a software development centre here will only be known after tomorrow’s meeting. Microsoft now works out of Bangalore and Hyderabad.

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