Are the things being done in Microsoft basic research? I am not being sarcastic, I really want to know.|
Most of what I see seems closely related to products and technologies Microsoft sells. This isn't basic reseach. It is applied research, which is certainly worthwhile and can be interesting and fruitful. Indeed, perhaps that's what is really needed to bring PL research ideas to a larger audience.
In fact, though I am no fan of VB, I think VB and COM/ActiveX/OLE taught more people about components than all the academic papers on these subjects taken together. Smae thing with MFC and application frameworks.
Still, basic research is, of course, important and crucial. The way I see it most companies these days don't do it (and the state of the economy wouldn't lead you to be too optimistic about the near future).
There was a change of approach here, from real R&D divisions (think the golden days of PARC) to more focused smaller-scale research. Only truly huge coorporation can support theoretical basic research.