It appears that Redmond is betting big on its workforce in China, at least when it comes to research and innovation, as the company considers the country is an important innovation hub in the region.
Ya-Qin Zhang, the chairman of Microsoft’s Asia Pacific research and development group, talking to WSJ shared the view that Microsoft is ready to increase focus on its Chinese operations:
“The scale of innovators and the scale of the market will converge and eventually make China a key [innovation] center in the region. There’s been more copying than innovation [in the past], but that’s going to change.”
China is already considered a major technology hub by countless technology companies in the world, but as said above, the emphasis up until now as more on replication and manufacturing than outright innovation.
But all this could change in the coming years.
Even Bill Gates, the chairman and co-founder of Microsoft, in one of his recent interviews held the view that his company was not doing enough when it came to innovating new ideas. Gates suggested that in the long term, the software titan should look beyond Windows 8 and Surface tablets.
The company already has played its cards when it comes to recent products like Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Surface line of tablets — and there is little reason to believe that work has not already begun on the next phase of revolutionary products.
We may get a hint of them in due time, but the number of patents Microsoft wins each year just solidifies the idea that the company is big on research and development.