Microsoft’s Bill Buxton Talks Microsoft’s Ubiquitous Computing


Bill Buxton is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft. I’ve always liked him since he kind of a looks like mad scientist Doc Brown from back to the future.  But beyond that he is a highly interesting and intellectual individual.  He bring with him a unique perspective that can only be brought with age and experience.  Microsoft used to trot him out a lot when they first hired him in 2005, but as of late they have kept him under wraps and working on more secret projects.

He very recently gave a talk on ubiquitous computing for MSR.  Ubiquitous computing was popularized by Mark Weiser at Xerox PARC.  Buxton worked with Weiser at Xerox PARC previous to his job at Microsoft. Buxton shares his perspectives on the premise that in this emerging world of ubiquitous computing, it is vital that devices, applications, and services are designed, from the start, by taking the other members of the ecosystem into account. Individually, they must offer great value, experience, and satisfaction, and combined, great design must derive value from all the other devices, applications, and services in the ecosystem, while continually reducing overall complexity.

It is really is an interesting intellectual discussion that covers a while range of topics including smart-watches, smartphones, location services and much more.  There are scattered hints at where Microsoft is planning to go as devices and services company.  Microsoft research often delves into topics which come to fruition as a products years later (i.e. Kinect, etc.). I highly recommend watching.

  • Haymo

    Quite enjoyed the talk.. I see great advances in this coming. Wish that one day, your personal device (smartphone) is the device that connects to everything and will drive both consumption and productivity. A truly ubiquitous seamless experience that connects to my tv and my car and my phone at home and my desktop display in my office without the need for another computer or cables..