Julie188 writes "Even as Microsoft celebrates its 10,000th patent, angry shareholders are starting to speak out against what they say is the squandering of billions of dollars on pointless R&D projects. The 10,000th patent covers a technology that allows a device to associate data with objects placed on its surface, and is likely eventually to become part of the Surface table PC. But shareholders are fed up with the $8 billion annually spent. Said one, 'I believe Bill Gates is a charlatan because what he has said, implied, promised to shareholders and stakeholders and all of these visionary things that he mumbles and jumbles about and doesn't make reality of. MS is spending billions of dollars on R&D. Where is the return on investment?' In contrast, Apple had almost the same revenue gains as Microsoft while spending one-tenth as much."