While true, it's arguable that they aren't aiming to top every market they enter, but would rather have their name out there. I remember when Bill Gates was interviewed alongside Steve Jobs and the topic of the Zune came out. Ultimately, the Zune in its latest version was a fantastic bit of kit, but Bill Gates reiterated the idea that Microsoft aims to be present in many markets; to offer choice rather than to compete head-to-head..
One market where they succeeded where everyone, including myself, believed they'd fall was in gaming with the Xbox. Nintendo have pushed themselves out of the mainstream gaming market with the Wii and Wii U, and over the past few years that's left Microsoft and Sony to battle it out. It wouldn't surprise me to see the next generation won by Microsoft given Sony's numerous issues with software and security.
Regardless, Microsoft Research have a very good reputation. This is a strange move for them and I don't expect any kind of success from so.cl, but I doubt they do either.