Microsoft has invited academics and journalists to its Redmond campus this morning for a preview of TechFest, the company’s effort to transfer the technology developed in its huge basic research arm to the rest of the company.
Rick Rashid, senior vice president of Microsoft Research, is giving an introductory talk. He’s explaining the importance of Microsoft Research, which now has more than 800 Ph.D. computer scientists. One benefit of doing research that looks over the horizon is identifying new competitive threats.
“We’re a great early warning system,” he said. “We’ll say something like, ‘You know, this Internet search thing, it could be big some day.’ People don’t always listen to us.”