Microsoft Research is always known for its cutting edge and breakthrough research. Microsoft was always ranked in Top 10, thanks to Microsoft Research. But there was always a complaint that most of the research work from MSR is not reaching the people. Bloomberg today wrote an article on how Microsoft is now trying to change this in the future. Microsoft has now formed a new group within Microsoft Research called MSR Next which will work on projects with greater impact to the company rather than pure research while the other half of Microsoft Research is getting pushed to find more significant ways it can contribute to the company’s products. Satya Nadella is now pushing Microsoft Research to directly work with other product groups within Microsoft.
The bigger problem at Microsoft was that often the most promising research never made its way into the company’s products until a rival built something similar. Jim Gray, the late Microsoft Research scientist and A.M. Turing Award winner, designed one of the first modern digital mapping programs in the late 1990s. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates showed off Gray’s TerraServer to applause at a conference in 1998 but didn’t do much with it after that. When Google Maps debuted in 2005, Gates ordered the company to build its own version in 100 days.
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