Microsoft Buys the Future, Spends US$3.2 Billion Per Year To Do It

When Bill Gates said that Microsoftis attempt to dominate the Internet through its .Net initiative was a "bet the company" deal he wasnit kidding. Recently, Mr. Gates, Chairman and "Chief Software Architect" of the worldis largest corporation said Microsoft is dedicating 80% of its annual US$4 billion research and development budget on the so-called Universal Canvas. Thatis a US$3,200,000,000 per year R&D steam roller. The not-so-subtle message to wannabe competition: Get out of the way or get flattened.

According to ZDNet News Mr. Gate claimed,

"Iid say about 80 percent of it (Microsoftis R&D) is behind this. Net effort. We actually started our advanced research group about eight years ago, and itis through .Net that their research will actually get into the marketplace...The payoff comes when itis actually shipped in the products and the first .Net products roll out next year. The really profound ones are in the next two years."

Since .Net will take years to roll out and perfect, Microsoft apparently has ear marked at least 10 billion bucks over the next 3 years to wrap its corporate tentacles around every digital corner of our lives and inject the Internet with its DNA. Thatis more than half of Apple total market capitalization.

Appleis annual R&D budget currently sits around US$50 million per year.