Yesterday was the start of this year’s TechFest where the staff at Microsoft Research shows off their latest efforts:
March 6, 2007 — Whether it’s helping people discover distant planets online, share their favorite digital photos with relatives, or show young kids how fun it can be to program computers, Microsoft Research speeds the way to a richer computing experience. Today the doors opened to Microsoft Research TechFest 2007, the company’s annual showcase of research projects, unveiling more than 100 innovations. At TechFest, researchers and product teams form close and lasting ties to jointly advance the frontiers of computing for the industry and customers.
Speaking today at TechFest before an audience of customers, industry and government leaders and independent software vendors, Microsoft Research Senior Vice President Rick Rashid said, “TechFest is one-stop shopping to see and experience the breadth of software innovations we’re pursuing that will allow people to explore their interests more deeply and share the things they care about more easily.”
Rashid moderated demonstrations of a number of key research projects, including World-Wide Telescope, which allows people to peer deep into the heavens on their PCs; Mix: Search-Based Authoring, a new way to build and share digital content at home and work; and Boku, an innovative way of using Xbox® to teach kids how exciting and rewarding computer programming can be.
There are more details by following the link and at the TechFest Demo site , but while interesting in an intellectual way, there really didn’t seem to be anything particularly earthshaking. Also bear in mind that the real audience is within Microsoft itself with the objective of getting these projects incorporated within a real product, the perennial quest of all corporate research arms:
Microsoft Research TechFest provides a strategic forum for Microsoft researchers to connect with the broader group of Microsoft employees. Hundreds of researchers from Microsoft’s worldwide labs in China, England, India and the United States gather for the annual event at the company’s corporate headquarters in Redmond, Wash. They come together to exchange ideas with colleagues, show off their latest innovations, and shine a light into the future of computing. In many cases, the partnerships formed at TechFest between researchers and product teams allow innovations to begin making their way into game-changing products for Microsoft customers.