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Most things that Jim Gray, Microsoft Research, writes are interesting. So I was very interested to come across his observations about Microsoft Research itself. These are in a powerpoint presentation to the Senior Information Technology Officer Summit, 2003.
Also worth a look is his paper on distributed computing economics:
Computing economics are changing. Today there is rough price parity between (1) one database access, (2) ten bytes of network traffic, (3) 100,000 instructions, (4) 10 bytes of disk storage, and (5) a megabyte of disk bandwidth. This has implications for how one structures Internet-scale distributed computing: one puts computing as close to the data as possible in order to avoid expensive network traffic. [Publications: View Details]