Microsoft Research is the new Bell Labs

smoledman

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 17, 2011
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http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017681928_microsofttechfest07.html

Microsoft spends about $9 billion a year on research and development and has 850 Ph.D. researchers in labs worldwide. That's only 1 percent of the company's employees but it's the largest computer-science research organization in the world, according to Microsoft.

"We think of TechFest as a conversation starter," Schofield said. "We don't think of it as a shopping mall. It's a set of ideas — a conversation about what is now possible."

The projects this year fell largely into two themes: merging the virtual and natural worlds, and big data — meaning systems that can collect a huge amount of data and make sense of that data in useful ways.
Notice, Microsoft allows MSR to pursue whatever it's PhDs want to pursue, regardless of "productizability". It's not always about bean counting.
 

boss.king

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2009
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I love this sort of stuff. Its not a practical way to spend 9 billion dollars, but its so interesting to see what people come up with. Many of these thibgs could easily find a practical use in modern life when the project reaches a mature stage, and MSFT is going to be waist deep in state of the art tech.
 

smoledman

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 17, 2011
1,924
308
I love this sort of stuff. Its not a practical way to spend 9 billion dollars, but its so interesting to see what people come up with. Many of these thibgs could easily find a practical use in modern life when the project reaches a mature stage, and MSFT is going to be waist deep in state of the art tech.
$9 billion is total R&D for the company. I don't know what % of that is dedicated for MSR.