Microsoft company will provide jobs for 5000 people and increase its spending on research and development on 20%. By next June, Microsoft hopes to operate a $5.3bn R&D budget. By then, its workforce should be 55,500 strong. The expansion plan will involve more than just extra spending. Microsoft will push for a fundamental transformation from being a maker of software designed to be used on personal computers towards becoming a provider of web based services. The company wants to migrate customers to web based computing. The process would go through three stages before culminating in the next big overhaul of Windows. This should happen within a few years. Microsoft believes the shift should reduce the company's exposure to cyclical sales of computer hardware. Web based computing could be made available via televisions and mobile devices.