Microsoft Corp. said on Tuesday it has joined research-intensive organisations to sell its non-core technology to start-up companies in an attempt to earn money from discoveries that would otherwise gather dust. The world’s largest software maker said it was already working with government agencies in Ireland and Finland to reach young companies that may be interested in technology from Microsoft’s multi-billion dollar research arm.
You can check out the catalog of what is available here.
Update: Here’s the press release and it turns out the government connection is rather stronger than the above quote would lead one to believe:
LISBON, Portugal — Jan. 31, 2006 — Today at the Microsoft Government Leaders Forum (GLF) Europe 2006, Brad Smith, Microsoft Corp. senior vice president and general counsel, will announce an expansion of the company’s IP Ventures program to include close collaboration with governments and public sector development agencies. Under this innovative program, Microsoft opens up internally developed technologies to governments to facilitate new product and business development with entrepreneurs and small businesses. By licensing and spinning out Microsoft’s innovations, governments can work with their local startup and venture capital community to encourage new business growth and deliver innovative technology to new markets.
The combination of support from governmental economic development agencies and access to commercially viable technologies through IP Ventures provides businesses with unique opportunities. In addition to government support through special funding, prescriptive guidance or even office space, local entrepreneurs and startup businesses will now also have access to technologies that can quickly be brought to market.
There’s a variety of examples by following the link.