Microsoft is driving up its R&D spending, from about $2 billion in 1997 to $2.6 billion in the current year and $3 billion in 1999, Microsoft chairman and CEO Bill Gates said on Thursday.
Bill Gates was addressing about 120 Fortune 1000 executives at the company?s second annual 'CEO Summit'.
While references to the antitrust case against Microsoft were avoided at all cost at the event, the R&D pledge could easily be understood as a reaction to criticism of the company?s record as an innovator.
Microsoft has maintained that the Department of Justice, with its case, is threatening the company?s right to ?innovate?. To which Microsoft critics ? within the DoJ and amongst the company?s competitors ? have responded that the company has never been a great innovator, and has depended rather on copying competitors'ideas.
At the CEO Summit, which was not open to the press, Bill Gates touted his company?s Digital Nervous System concept. Attendees were also invited the Gates?s $60 million mansion, for a 'fireside chat' by fellow billionaire Warren Buffett.
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