Microsoft offers R&D to small companies, startups

Microsoft offers R&D to small companies, startups

Microsoft has opened up its library of technologies developed by its R&D centers to small companies and startups.

Microsoft has opened up a library of technologies developed by its R&D teams to small companies and start-up companies.

Under the program, called Microsoft IP Ventures, the software maker would license technologies to these companies to help ease their development of new products and services, Microsoft said.

Microsoft is offering licenses for technology related to gaming, databases, multimedia, and security, among others.

Microsoft Portrait is one example of the technologies that the company has made available. Portrait is a video communication technology that can run on wired or wireless networks with bandwidth as low as 9.6Kbps (bits per second), according to Microsoft.

At low bandwidths, the technology allowed smooth video transmission with short latency and low computational overhead, it said.

A complete list of the available technologies can be found online at

Microsoft IP Ventures aims to make the licensing of these technologies accessible to small companies by accepting payment either through royalties or by taking a stake in the company, Microsoft said.

Microsoft said the introduction of the IP Ventures program was a response to demand from venture capitalists for access to the company's library of technologies.

Offering an example of what the program is meant to accomplish, Microsoft cited the example of Inrix, a small US company, that has been issued an exclusive license for a predictive, real-time traffic technology designed to make possible the distribution of up-to-the minute traffic information.

Inrix planned to include the technology in a nationwide service for service providers, device manufacturers and websites, Microsoft said.

Terms of that licensing agreement were not disclosed.

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