Microsoft in Korea car infotainment

Gates invests $147 mil, meets Pres. Lee Myung-bak

SEOUL - Microsoft chairman Bill Gates met with South Korean president Lee Myung-bak on Tuesday, announcing $147 million in investments in South Korea and discussing the future of the Internet.

The biggest project is a plan for Microsoft to team up with carmaker Hyundai-Kia to create an in-car infotainment system by 2010 in which Microsoft will invest $113 million, with Hyundai putting in $166 million.

In addition, Microsoft plans to invest $23 million to create a "global game hub center," with the government-run Korea Game Industry Agency.

The KGIA said it intends to help 100 companies and train as many as 1,000 game developers by 2010.

Lee said the investments could trigger $6.9 billion in economic impact by 2013. After meeting Lee, Gates spoke at the Seoul Digital Forum, a high-profile technology forum organized by a local terrestrial network.

"The Internet operated and changed many things for the past 10 years," Gates said. "But the next 10 years will be again very much different with developed innovations."