Big tech players look to the future through R&D

Innovations in technology are the rule rather than the exception, but would more competition force the current tech giants to increase the pace of their innovation?

IBM is about to open a new facility in Dublin, Ireland, to support its "cloud computing" initiative in Europe. The initiative, IBM's attempt to attract customers to its model of using computing power as a service, is the end result of years of research by Big Blue. IBM has made a big bet on its new service as building out data centers is not an inexpensive proposition, but the rewards could be tremendous if the idea catches on.

Made in IBM Labs: IBM Announces European Cloud Computing Hub in Dublin (CNN Money)

Verizon is also looking forward through R&D, publishing specifications for a planned "open" cellular network that nearly any type of device will be able to connect with, perhaps enabling a roaming subscription that customers can use across several devices.

Verizon Wireless opens its network (

Microsoft's future vision includes programming changes that will allow developers to write software that takes advantage of parallel computing, a paradigm where software can take communicate with potentially hundreds of processors.

Microsoft's top visionary sees a parallel world (

The smaller companies that come up with radical new ideas seem to generate more press than the research efforts of larger companies, at least until the big boys announce their new products or services. There have been plenty of claims that companies like Microsoft stifle innovation, but that kind of thinking seems to fly in the face of the billions that large corporations spend on R&D every year. Do you think that innovations in technology are being made at the same pace as years past, now that a few tech giants dominate the landscape?