Microsoft's ''big'' R&D show...
by phil on Thursday Jul 31, 2003 2:53 PM
Bill Gates, in defense of their monopolistic practices once said, "all we want to do is innovate."... and now, billions of dollars later in R&D budgets, this is best Microsoft can come up with... basically toy robots with webcams and some semi-interesting pattern recognizers for sign-language.
People waiting to take an elevator could enter their destination floor into a cellphone instead of pushing the elevator button -- Hmm, doesn't make a great elevator pitch
Copy machines could be programmed to sort and staple from a Pocket PC. -- Some R&D got a promotion for finding the 1001th thing you can do with your Microsoft Pocket PC.
Johannes Helander is working on a glove that could translate sign language into digitized letters. -- Sounds really efficient.
Darko Kirovski is developing a low-cost way for motor-vehicle departments and companies to create identification cards on paper -- What? Oh my ID is not made out of just paper & some laminate?
I've been turned off by fairs and "labs"... even Google Labs is not that interesting.
I liked Steve Jobs' approach to R&D which was to R&D for actual product creation. This brought forth the iPod, the Titanium notebook, and the first iMac--stuff that people actually bought and use. I also like the R&D of hungry college students and Open-source-like nerd warriors that brought forth: ICQ, Winamp, Napster, Gnutella (which later metastasized into KaZaA), the 1st Google (nerd-minded & PhD dudes), Webcrawler (some hacker made that and sold it to AOL for $1M in 1993ish--the 1st dot-com millionaire), Andreesen with Mosaic... etc.