Microsoft Research is 20 years old now. The following graphic (click through) shows a great metro styled timeline of the acheivments of Microsoft Research.
This division of Microsoft works with Universities across the globe to advance computing and computational sciences. Something that many people are not aware of but only part of the huge contribution Microsoft makes to the community. (unlike some of their compeditors *cough* Apple Inc. *cough*)
“Spurred by Bill Gates’ vision that someday computers will see, listen, speak and learn, Bill, Rick Rashid and Nathan Myhrvold created MSR in 1991 with a mission to advance the state of the art in computing through a combination of basic and applied research.”
“That mission hasn’t changed, but the organization has blossomed to 12 facilities around the world (including Redmond, Wash.; Cambridge, U.K.; Beijing; Mountain View, Calif.; Aachen, Germany; Bangalore; Cairo and Cambridge, Mass.), currently supporting more than 850 researchers in over 60 fields of research.” said Steve Clayton from Microsoft.