Microsoft's software products have long been available to customers globally through third parties. But cloud computing is changing the sales paradigm and prompting the company to explore setting up shop locally in emerging economies—first stop, Brazil.

"This will be the first time we'll accept local payment types in the country," says Gretchen Kurth, treasury chief of staff at Microsoft.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft's push to offer cloud-computing services—in late June it announced the cloud availability of its Office 365 suite of applications in 40 markets—is prompting the company to explore how to take local payment types from customers in other countries as well as Brazil. The effort may involve Microsoft's incorporating in some countries to accomplish that.

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