Microsoft research has existed from quite some time. Twelve years ago, back at the time when we dreamed about video calling through our Pocket PCs, the Microsoft Research group built an app that was never released called Microsoft Portrait, which did just that. Today the company is facing new times and new competition, and as such, Microsoft has a new strategy up its sleeve.
According to Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft Research has reportedly built a new “Special Projects Group” which is in-charge of building disruptive technology. Kind of like what we see with Google X, where Mountain View works on self-driving cars, drones, and what have you, this new group from Microsoft will focus on that. The leader of this group is apparently former DARPA innovation boss Norman Whitaker, and according to the report, the group will be focused on “disruptive technologies that could benefit the company and society”, though details are not provided.
Microsoft currently employs most of the technology talent in the industry, so this could be a key strategic development group for the company. Let’s just hope they don’t come out with some of the technologies that never really took-off, like the original Microsoft Surface concept.