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Microsoft’s $9.5 Billion Research Budget

by on March 9, 2010

CIO reports that Microsoft is planning on spending $9.5 billion in research and development this year. Yowzer! According to Microsoft COO, Kevin Turner, that’s more than any other competitor.  Why? So they can innovate in cloud computing:

The figure is $3 billion more than the next closest technology company, said Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s chief operating officer, who gave a keynote speech on Thursday at the Cebit trade show. Much of Microsoft’s investments center around “cloud” services, or online computing provided to users from hosted data centers.

“Especially in light of the tough difficult macroeconomic times that we’re coming out of, we chose to really lean in and double down on our innovation,” Turner said.

From → Good to Know

  1. It is really interesting, because Microsoft is somewhat the new comer in cloud computing. Microsoft is the most famous company for PC software in this world; however, it is heading for a new direction – distributed software or distributed systems.
    Microsoft is not praised as one of the most innovative companies in the world, even not among top 20, as far as I know. The reporting budget is given to the R & D department, rather than any department called design, UX… I have some doubts on their focus.

  2. Nishant permalink

    Yes Ke Ding. You would like to see the transcript of what Steve Balmer said when he visited our University. Microsoft is now fully involved into cloud-computing and that is what they consider as one of the best ways to accomplish their mission – selling software plus services. As Balmer noted, 70% of its employees are involved in cloud-computing and its going to increase to 90% by the end of this year. “They are all in”, he quoted. Windows office 2010 is due to launch this June which supports online collaboration and Windows 8 is also predicted to have the capability to tap the power of cloud.

    • Thanks, Nishant! Well, selling software plus services? It is interesting, because it is more common to use the concept SaaS – software as a service. In fact, it is a trend that the client ends – PCs, Macs – will be more and more simple. Customers will buy services rather than softwares in the future. Some professionals even predict that computing resources will become another public utility just like electricity. I think Microsoft just noticed this trend. However, it is during its transformation period.

      • Alexander West permalink

        Of course the trend is nothing new at all – that we see every last bit of efficiency squeezed out of existing products and services. The innovation happens in new products and services. So anytime you are looking at what already has been, what you see will be de-emphasizing innovation and over-emphasizing efficiency. In the ‘cloud’ world, if that means basically offering the same hosting services, but calling them ‘the cloud’, then sure Microsoft is late to the game. Personally I think Microsoft has some of the most interesting cloud innovation, but of course they are developing those new technologies. I guess my point is just that it would be a mistake to draw a conclusion from one example and apply it to all of Microsoft – ‘the cloud’ is much bigger than that.

  3. In the Google vs Microsoft cloud war, Google wins one with DocVerse acquisition:

    “Continuing its acquisition spree, Google has snapped up DocVerse, a start-up that allows users of Microsoft Office documents to collaborate in real-time on the Web, said several sources.”

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