At its annual Faculty Summit in Redmond, Wash., next week, Microsoft will show off the fruits of some of its latest research projects. At the same time, the software kingpin will highlight new programs it is instituting to build its base of academic developers and users.
In part, Microsoft is stepping up its academic outreach efforts in order to stave off potential encroachments from the open-source community.
As Microsoft Chief Financial Officer John Connors said at a New York investment conference last month: "We also see Linux being heavily used in the academic environment and increasingly being evaluated by government, particularly overseas. But to put that in a proper context, Unix has always been the environment thats been studied and used in academia. Windows has been a relatively small percentage of the use in academia."
But Microsofts interest in forging tighter academic ties is hardly a new phenomenon. Indeed, Microsoft Research (MSR), like all vendor think tanks, relies heavily on its ties with the academic community to further research projects across the spectrum.
Within MSR is a group called Learning Sciences that is looking specifically at how, when and where Microsoft can contribute to the work happening in e-Learning around the globe. This team will make several presentations at the Faculty Summit next week.
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