Monday, July 31, 2006

Bang for the buck

From Paul Kedrosky, the figure below was displayed by Microsoft's Craig Mundie at an analyst presentation. If the numbers are correct, Microsoft is now the leading technology company when it comes to R&D spending. Somehow I can't believe they're getting a decent return on their investment.

For comparison, the entire US high energy physics annual budget is under $1 billion, as is CERN's budget. Total annual US defense spending on R&D (this includes weapon systems, "missile defense", etc.) is about $60 billion.


Anonymous said...

Those Google numbers surprise me. I wonder if they include the "one day a week to do what you want" as research (they certainly should!)

BTW, what a crazy way to display this information: "cumulative since 2000?!"

Steve Hsu said...

I learned during my visit there that few engineers actually have 20% projects. Also, Google is very focused on product-related work and not so much on blue-sky research. Nevertheless, by MSFT standards a lot of their expenditures should probably be counted as R&D.

Anonymous said...

The information is displayed like that to obscure the fact that MS spent less in 2005 than 2004.
Nothing crazy about it :-)

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