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MS to double Cambridge labs with £50m spend

Building new facility next to university site

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Microsoft is expanding its UK investment plan by ploughing £50 million into its research facility in Cambridge. The software giant, which has gone into a spending spin in the UK since Bill Gates met our PM Tony Blair last month, was said to be in "confidential talks" with Cambridge University. According to today's Financial Times, Microsoft wants to take over around 20 per cent of the university's new computer laboratory, but the Cambridge authorities have refused. Instead, the company is to invest £50 million over the next five years to build a stand-alone Microsoft research laboratory next door to the lab. Its facility is currently in the city centre. The planned internal lab would have employed between 55 and 65 staff. Microsoft currently has 45 researchers at Cambridge, and it is thought the new facility will boost this number to 100. The university, said to welcome Microsoft's revised plans, is now looking for a new company to fill the 20 per cent of space left in its lab. Microsoft opened its Cambridge site, its first laboratory outside the US, three years ago. ®

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