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Comment Re:Bill Gates? (Score 3, Informative) 580

There is a misunderstanding exhibited by many posts here that "R&D" is about "experimentation".

Only the "R" part of R&D is to do with experimentation, and that is what MSR does. The "D" component is product development -- the thousands of developers, testers and program managers, plus all the staff around them, that do the development of the many future products coming down the line, as well as the maintenance on products already shipped. The focus of development is basically to ship something.

MSR is not about shipping products, but about researching new technolgies in general; technologies that could either lead to future product features one day or whole new product categories -- but only after actual development (in a product development group outside of MSR) takes place. MSR does not work on product development itself except in rare and small cases where research can directly spin out into a product that generally doesn't fit into an established product group.

The dollar figures MS posts for R&D do not break out the proportion that is R and the proportion that is D. Since there are less than 1000 researchers in MSR, but multiple 1000s in development, "you do the math."

BTW, regarding tech transfer, MSR has documented its tech transfers for a number of years now. For example, the most recent list is here: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/about/techtransfer2007.aspx

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