Guanxi by Robert Buderi
(The Art of Relationships): Microsoft, China, and Bill Gates's Plan to Win the Road Ahead

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Many CEOs dream of tapping the future buying power of China's population, but Bill Gates had something else in mind with the creation of Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA) in 1998. Gates hoped that by setting up MSRA and funding it to the tune of over $100 million, he would buy some Chinese good will and gain access to the brightest minds available to help Microsoft compete against rivals Google, Sony and Nokia for dominance in internet search, digital entertainment and software for mobile devices. According to Buderi (Engines of Tomorrow; The Invention That Changed the World) and technology writer Huang, this investment has paid off handsomely, although there isn't a lot of wow factor to their descriptions of the innovations yielded. After long build-ups on hiring talent and meals toasting future success, the reader learns that among these new products are a Chinese dictation system, a water simulation for Xbox video games and a "universal pen" that can capture handwriting and incorporate it into computer documents. Despite its title, the book contains relatively little on the art of relationships with China, coming across instead as a hymn praising Microsoft's foresight in exploiting early the Chinese market.
 

About Robert Buderi

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Robert Buderi, a Fellow in MIT's Center for International Studies, is the author of two acclaimed books, Engines of Tomorrow, about corporate innovation, and The Invention That Changed the World, about a secret lab at MIT in World War II. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Gregory T. Huang is a features editor at New Scientist and holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT. His writing has appeared in Nature, Wired, Technology Review, and other publications. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
 
Published May 9, 2006 by Simon & Schuster. 320 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Computers & Technology, Professional & Technical, History, Travel, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Many CEOs dream of tapping the future buying power of China's population, but Bill Gates had something else in mind with the creation of Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA) in 1998.

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