Craig Mundie, CTO of Microsoft on a recent trip to India talks about the continuing US innovation lead in a global race. BusinessWeek profiles SAP's Hasso Plattner as he talks about partnering with IDEO in rethinking design.
While it is good to see both companies think about innovation, they collectively invested $ 7+ billion in R&D last year. Not sure we seeing enough innovation payback for that much investment.
I have a radical suggestion for them. Like Microsoft gave out a large cash dividend to its investors last year, how about a "innovation dividend" this time to customers in the form of lowered maintenance or license pricing? I am seeing CIOs at Hertz, Starbucks, Jetblue and elsewhere deliver so much practical innovation with much smaller $ 1, 5 and 10 m WI-FI, RFID and other technology projects. If they were not spending as much just "keeping the lights" on - on the utility spend, they could do so much more on the innovation side and the US would continue to lead the world on innovative business uses of technology. May be time to "decentralize" at least some of that $ 7 billion R&D budget?