Research and development, or R&D, is a big deal with the Gates Gang. After all, in 2003, they spent over (all figures US) $4.6 billion on it. For a company that had revenues of $32.1 billion in the corresponding period, this is an impressive figure and to put in perspective, they spent $6.5 billion on sales and marketing during the same period. Clearly, R&D is important to the company. Read the article at Canoe.ca.