Google, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems, along with researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are helping to set up a software research laboratory. The three companies are providing $ 7.5 million [EUR 6.2 million] in funding over five years, which combined with other industry funding covers 80 percent of investment in the lab. The other 20 percent will come from government institutions such as the National Science Foundation. The Reliable, Adaptive and Distributed Systems Lab, or RAD Lab, will primarily concentrate on developing technology to assist small groups or individuals in creating, testing, and publishing Internet services.
Google, Microsoft, Sun Join Forces to Set up R&D Lab
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2005-12-18 1:56 amMonsieurEvil
From the article:
“The researchers emphasized that any software and applications emerging from the RAD Lab will be made freely and openly available to the public, with source code distributed using the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) license. ”
So, any invention gives the developers’ credit in advertising and historical info only, no rights to patent or normal copyright.
While this isn’t exactly OS news (yet? who knows what they’ll invent), it’s an interesting concept, and more common than you might think. It’s also telling that there have been so few comments here – a world exists beyond the home computer, despite most posts here to the contrary. It’s also funny to see the usual flames here doused by a collaboration of Unix, Web, and Windows. 🙂
This is an interesting article….
Microsoft and Google working together (forget sun lol)? that IS interesting…..
I’m confused, I really am…..
I doubt that this “group” will make an OS as Mr. Evil hinted at….. Microsoft would never purposefully create competition for their main bucks (no matter at what level). However, as was pointed out, who knows what will come out of this?
I am impressed with MS making strides towards open source throughout this year. Small steps, but steps nonetheless
On a side note, I can see MS using this opportunity to “steal” whatever comes out of this R&D. Modify it/change it a little, and patent it first before it comes out with the BSD license? Not to be negative, but it’s the only way I see MS in the group, to benefit somehow. Google doesn’t need help, Sun needs it a little, but Google is there for them, and MS needs to gain points back in the eyes of the people (as a evil corp.) plus give a boost to their web teams/projects (which they can get from Google if there is research sharing to be done). Anyone get what I’m saying? I apologize if my writing is confusing, it’s late over here, or shall I say early?
2005-12-18 7:50 amMonsieurEvil
The companies are merely sponsors of the research. All the researchers are from the University.
Of all of them, MS by far has the largest R&D budget and efforts ($7 billion for 2006 – http://www.redmondmag.com/features/article.asp?EditorialsID=517). This is more than Google’s entire net revenue over the past year. I can’t seem to find any budget or profit numbers for Sun (not a good sign! 🙂 ).
MS is a huge pusher of research and development; I believe the biggest now in the computer industry, although IBM might still be holding on to the crown they used to dominate. Reading http://research.microsoft.com/ is very interesting stuff. It’s no coincidence that Google poaches developers and PM’s heavily from MS for new technologies.
MS is not out to ‘steal’ everything, no matter what you may think. MS is not a thing – it’s a group of 50,000 human beings from all over the world that want to invent great stuff. Some of it is really awesome, some of it is not, like any company’s products – Ford made the Edsel and the Mustang, after all. MS is one of the last bastions of true creativity in the US, in these days of non-existent R&D budgets. Before someone blindly spews about F/OSS, name the last thing a F/OSS actually invented from scratch and pioneered, and didn’t simply copy or derive (yes, including the Linux kernel). In the derivative nature of the computer world, most ‘true’ invention at this point is algorythymic, but you still get some cool stuff from scratch from MS R&D, like Cleartype, text-to-speech, DirectX, digital ink, AV codecs, crypto, bayesian analysis, etc.
I wish they had more details on what the researchers will be… researching.
Edited 2005-12-18 07:52
Micorosoft has an important role in research – while AltaVista and Mapquest and Hotmail had existed for years, and same with bash and a unix-esque kernel, Google and Linux have primarily centered on incremental improvements.
MS on the other hand seems to love invention, and reinvention. take things like MSH – linux users maybe get a few new features for bash in a year, while MS has totally reinvented the shell… everything else from MS seems like reinvention – WinFS (BeOS) ClearType (Apple II) Plug’n’Play (Mac) .NET (JAVA) DX (OpenGL) etc…
it should be interesting to have these three worlds collide a bit (academic + the two mentioned above…)
Edited 2005-12-18 11:49
Isn’t it funny that Google only develops interesting products like Google Earth, desktop search, google voice, google video for Windows?.
As much as they compete with one another, they need each other because Jobs/Mac is a fickle market and Linux is waaay out in left field and can turn against google in a heart beat if RMS says that google is evil.
The only sure thing is MS – it’s a known quantity and kinda predictable.
My question: who owns the Intellectual Property and controls the patents that will come out of this place? I’m sure there is some kind of agreement; I’d like to see it.