Microsoft looks to academia for talent

Posted by bink on June 29 2006, 10:25 AM. Posted in Academia.

Although Bill Gates' massive philanthropic foundation tends to get the most attention for its efforts to transform education, the company he co-founded also is paying close attention to the world of academia.

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, right, points at a portable PC on the wheelchair of Team Germany's Piotr Wendt during a demonstration by Imagine Cup finalists in Redmond, Wash. Team Germany developed a navigation system for people with disabilities. Microsoft sponsors technology contests, partners with academics, runs extensive research centers around the world and donates products to educators.

While many of its competitors have similar programs, academics and analysts say the Redmond company's extensive involvement, especially through its Microsoft Research centers, seems to go further than most.

"Microsoft certainly pays a lot of attention to the education space," said Jeffrey Young, a senior editor with the trade publication The Chronicle of Higher Education.

But it's not a purely altruistic endeavor. Through academia, Microsoft hopes to convince young minds to become loyal to Microsoft products, help influence university and government research — and perhaps ensure it doesn't miss out on the next big technological wave.

"As a whole, it's an investment for us, but it pays off in a pretty big way," Gates said in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press. Continue At Source