Microsoft is to license some of its spare technology from its research and development arm to start-up companies.
Microsoft wants investors in small start-up companies to take advantage of 20 technologies that have not yet been released. Developments to be made available include face detection, tracking software and a natural language-processing technology.
Microsoft Intellectual Property Ventures senior director David Harnett says the move will ensure technologies will reach the market sooner and that new companies and jobs will be created.
However, in some cases Microsoft will take part ownership of the young companies using the technology or claim royalty payments.