LOS ANGELES — After two days of talking about new products, Microsoft is highlighting its longer-term future today. Rick Rashid, senior vice president of Microsoft Research, opened the company’s Professional Developers Conference with a review of the role his organization plays in pushing the state of the art in computer science.
Rashid got some chuckles as he walked through his personal history, which included writing some code about 25 years ago that went into the NeXT Computer, whose operating system eventually evolved to become part of the foundation for the Apple Mac OS X.
“Now, if you use a Macintosh or iPhone, which, honestly, I would not recommend, but if you were to use one, you’d be using code that I wrote,” Rashid said.
He added that if you asked him 25 years ago if he expected the code he was writing would eventually show up on a cellphone, he would have said, “What’s a cellphone?”
But seriously folks…
Microsoft Research now has about 850 Ph.D. researchers, Rashid said.
“That’s a larger faculty than the entire Carnegie Mellon University or Brown University,” Rashid said. “… We’re now really the single largest organization in computer science.”
The company’s research efforts have touched nearly every Microsoft product over the past 17 years, he said.