Microsoft is always known for their investments in R&D. In 2014, they spent about $10.4 billion in R&D which is ranked 4th in the world. Only Volkswagen, Samsung and Intel has spent more R&D money than Microsoft in 2014. Although their industries, along with healthcare, continue to dominate this list, the software and Internet sector increased its presence in the top 20 this year, with Amazon making its first appearance.
At Microsoft Research, more than 1,000 scientists and engineers work across multiple research areas in research labs worldwide, making significant product contributions and collaborating on external projects that help solve global challenges. Even though Microsoft topped Google and Apple in the R&D spending, it was ranked below them in the innovators list.
The problem with Microsoft is the ability to turn their ideas and research projects into commercial products. Even though they came to smartphone, tablet and smartwatch market before anyone else, they are now lagging behind in all of these areas behind Apple, Google and Samsung.
Microsoft is now in transformation phase in which they are trying to re-invent themselves. In the email sent to all of Microsoft’s employees few months back, CEO Satya Nadella spoke about the culture change needed to move effectively in the mobile-first and cloud-first world. He said, “Our ambitions are bold and so must be our desire to change and evolve our culture.” He promised in making Microsoft the best place for smart, curious, ambitious people to do their best work. And he also wants engineering teams to build the experiences our customers love. I’m looking to the sales and marketing organizations to showcase our unique value propositions and drive customer usage first and foremost.
Read the full report from PWC here.