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One of the problems with corporate R&D in general it seems: what's successful for businesses and what's good for technological advancement often seem not to be in sync. Some of the best stuff has come from notoriously unprofitable groups, like the old Xerox PARC, which benefitted the whole sector, but not its originators.

Look at the amazing things that came from Bell Labs. The transistor, laser, cell phone (in the 40's!), UNIX......

Unlike most corporate R&D, PARC did good stuff. It was Xerox HQ that was exceptionally stupid. They had all the technology, but managed to do very little with it. Silicon Valley companies picked it up and ran with it.

Most big corporate research labs did good work. PARC, Bell Labs, IBM Research, Sun Labs, even Microsoft Research have all done "good stuff." Much of it critical to today's understanding of technology and computer science.

Certainly PARC has been instrumental in many areas of technology, I don't think it's fair to dismiss most corporate research. In fact, at least in the land of technology, most corporate research has done good stuff.

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