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July 26, 2007

FAM: New Internet research effort; 60 million Vista licenses

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano at 10:56 AM

In addition to the Financial Analyst Meeting items posted here and on Brier Dudley's blog, there were a couple of other news items that came out of the first three presentations today:

Microsoft is creating a new research arm to focus on Internet search and advertising. Harry Shum, who was heading the Asian arm of Microsoft Research. See the company press release here. The Internet Services Research Center will have researchers in Redmond, Silicon Valley and Beijing and will be part of the broader Microsoft Research organization.

Shum told me the ISRC will have about 50 researchers to start and "will continue to recruit great people to the organization." To put that in perspective, Microsoft Research has about 800 people total.

This move was forecast a bit in March when Microsoft created a new group to focus on the search and advertising businesses. At that time, Shum was named chief scientist of the Search and Ad Platform Group.

I asked Shum whether there was any concern that ISRC would duplicate the work on Internet services being done in Gary Flake's Live Labs organization.

"In Microsoft, innovation is everyone's responsibility," Shum said. "We have Microsoft Research. We have Live Labs. We have other labs as well. ISRC is our latest investment in this very important space."

In another development, Microsoft told several reporters that it has sold 60 million licenses for Windows Vista, it's newest operating system. That was supposed to be part of CEO Steve Ballmer's presentation, but if he said something about it, I didn't hear it.

See coverage from Reuters and Bloomberg.

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