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Twenty Years of Microsoft Research

Microsoft Research recently turned 20. And while it is still not able to drink legally in the U.S., I'm sure nearly 100 percent of its employees can.

Five years ago I wrote a couple of pieces on Microsoft Research, found here and here.

I don't know what made me do it but I started looking through all the research projects at Microsoft -- there were hundreds, and most I couldn't fathom at all.

Do you know what Self-Certification: Bootstrapping Certified Typecheckers in F* with Coq or Null dereference verification via overapproximated weakest precondition analysis? I sure don't.

After going through tens of dozens of projects and papers, what I did find is much of Microsoft's research is aimed at solving very human problems: hunger, disease, understanding the universe.

I spent a lot of time digging and found that Microsoft pays its brainiacs to work with other top researchers around the globe on all these issues. And this is all gratis.

There is another reason Microsoft Research exists -- to help build products. One of its biggest items to come out of this department in recent time was the Kinect.

Xconomy in Seattle recently interviewed Rich Rashid, long-time chief at MS Research who remembers fondly all the great stuff his group has done.

Also, Keith Ward, editor in chief of Visual Studio magazine did a similar interview some time ago.

Posted by Doug Barney on 10/12/2011 at 1:18 PM


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