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Madison, WI Goes Tech: Google and Microsoft Open Divisions

Microsoft to partner with UW-Madison

Announced in late April, Microsoft will be partnering with the University of Wisconsin-Madison to open up an Advanced Data Lab, The Jim Gray Systems Lab, in downtown Madison. David DeWitt, professor emeritus of computer science, will be heading up the new data lab. Interestingly, the intellectual property derived directly from the lab will belong to Microsoft, but the students involved will retain the right to freely use the research results in an academic setting. While this is probably S.O.P. (standard operating procedure), as many pharmaceutical and oil companies garner the same bargain, it could certainly help Microsoft catch up in the technology arms race.

What the Lab Aims to Accomplish:

The lab’s primary focus in Madison will be to explore novel database system architectures that will be able to support massive data centers, which DeWitt believes could make research in domains like medicine and large-scale research more productive. New database technology could also dramatically reduce the cost of analyzing data. DeWitt said that at the core of Microsoft’s vision is the ability to give users real-time access to the most up-to-date data — even going beyond facts and figurers, but including new data types such as X-rays, videos and even spatial content.

Google Opening Up Shop in Madison:

Reported today, Google will be opening up a 5,000 sq ft. office building in Madison. Not much more is known at this time, but I have contacted Google about its plans for this office. I will update this post when I know more.

Follow-up From Danny Sullivan:

I reached out to Danny Sullivan about this, to see if he knew anymore about what the Google Office would be focusing on. Danny said, “Nothing offhand. They open so many offices and often there’s nothing that special about them.”

So that’s the word from Search Engine Land and Danny. It’s just another Pod for Google.

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