Dan'l Lewin interview excerpt (via Don Dodge)
Lewin sat down this week at his office in Mountain View to answer a few questions about his role with Microsoft. He declined, however, to talk about Microsoft's failed attempt in recent months to acquire Yahoo Inc. or the Sunnyvale portal's search business.
Q: How many startups does Microsoft look at in a year?
A: Microsoft looks at 1,200 startups a year and develops relationships with around 200.
Q: Which technologies are important to Microsoft right now?
A: The (biggest) interest is in Silverlight. It's a terrifically powerful and very efficient technology for doing next-generation video across platforms and in a browser.
New areas picking up traction are XNA architecture - a gaming architecture - and there's a lot of interest around robotics and surface technology.
There's also traction around Amazon and cloud and chat ... we'll have more to say about that in the not-too-distant future.