Microsoft plans to spend $9.5 billion in research and development projects in 2010, a considerable portion of which will go to cloud-computing technologies, Steve Ballmer said. Microsoft signed a memorandum of understanding with Taiwan’s government to jointly set up a research center for cloud computing. The center’ll be a first for Microsoft in Asia. It aims to give Taiwanese computer makers a place to test out new hardware and software made to work with Microsoft products, including new cloud computing applications and services, a joint statement said. Companies in Taiwan’ve already started developing new hardware for cloud. Quanta Computer plans to launch its first cloud computing products next year, including thin clients and other devices. The company has been working with Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop new cloud computing and mobile technologies, a partnership called Project T-Party, reports PCWorld.