Research and Development at Tech Giants

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Monday, March 28, 2011

There is one thing common to Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and IBM – emphasis on research.. While Hewlett Packard continues with its practical and rational approach in its research, Microsoft has proved to be the original research oriented technological icon; IBM shows its versatility by patenting more and more applications every year.
Hewlett Packard’s strategy has been to confine its projects to some 20 odd “sure bets” projects it thinks feasible to maintain its bottom line. This was done after research showed that while HP’s earlier 150 projects were interesting, they didn’t always stay focused on HP’s wider goals. The “sure bets” has been arrived at after analyzing what HP defines as its core – data management, smart infrastructure, durability and the cloud.
Microsoft has always been known for its emphasis on pure research and has rightly continued on this path. Despite the weak economy, it considers research to be an extremely important feature of its business, even if it means that the research may not always convert into actual products. “I think of research as one of the things that we have to do and elect to do in order to ensure we survive over the long term," says Craig Mundie, Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer.
For IBM, research means survival in times of tough economic conditions. During the economic decline of 2008 and 2009, IBM protected its Research and Development budget from being meddled with. Robert Morris, the IBM vice president, feels that most companies make a fatal mistake when they give in to their temptation to cut down on their budgets for R&D during economic recession.

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