[This story is running in the print edition of The Seattle Times July 10, 2014.]
Peter Lee’s mission at Microsoft is to think big, think far and think unconventionally — and to get others to do the same.
As head of Microsoft Research (MSR), Lee is shaking things up at one of the largest computer-science research organizations in the world. Its researchers’ work has been incorporated into just about every company product, from Azure to Xbox, Bing to Windows.
But the division has also taken criticism for not helping Microsoft innovate enough, allowing companies with smaller research and development budgets, such as Apple and Google, to leap ahead in crucial areas.More