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Ozzie May Want A Microsoft R&D Facility In Boston

Citing the Boston-area origins of Microsoft, software pioneer Dan Bricklin said he will urge his old friend and former colleague Ray Ozzie to establish an important R&D lab in the Boston area.

Ozzie has been splitting his time in recent months between Boston and Seattle and Bricklin reasons that Ozzie's direction of the firm's battle with Google could be helped by a strong research and development operation in Boston. Bricklin created the Visicalc spreadsheet, which propelled the Apple II computer from hobby machine status to personal computer importance.

Microsoft currently operates a small sales facility in suburban Boston.

Bricklin, who lives in suburban Boston, noted that Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer attended Harvard and that Gates and Paul Allen -- the latter was working at Honeywell in Boston at the time -- wrote Microsoft's first Basic program on a Digital Equipment Corp. computer. Ozzie and Craig Mundie, named chief research and strategy officer at Microsoft Thursday, each worked at Data General.

At a Microsoft convention in Boston this week, Ozzie referred to "Boston, my hometown, and the home of our beloved Red Sox." He also noted that the company he founded, Groove Networks, is a "key component of Office 2007 Enterprise Edition." Groove Networks, located in Boston's North Shore, was acquired by Microsoft last year.

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