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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

March 8, 2011 at 10:08 AM

TechFest: How Microsoft Research has paid off

At TechFest, the annual Microsoft Research fair in Redmond, Microsoft talked this morning about how the $9 billion it spends on research has benefited end products..

Rick Rashid, senior vice president of Microsoft Research, gave a keynote speech in which he discussed about how research work has seeded Microsoft products.

This has been a notable year for the research group because of the success of Kinect, the Xbox motion sensor that uses 3-D imaging technology that came out of the research division. “Kinect is already a mult-billion-dollar business,” Rashid said.

Rashid gave other examples. Photosynth, the photo stitching softwareused in Bing Maps street-side view, came out of work in Microsoft Research. Other research technology has shaped SQL, Windows 95, DirectX and search.

About 850 scientists work in Microsoft Research. Rashid said the first part of the group’s mission is “to move forward the state of the art forward in the key areas we do our research in. It has nothing to do with Microsoft.” The second part is “to make those technologies available to the public.”

Microsoft even has a “dating service,” Rashid said, a team of people to bring together researchers and product groups.

The research group’s work has “allowed Microsoft to grow its revenue over the past 10 years by more than $35 billion,” Rashid said.

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