Google X is a well known research group within Google that works on special projects directly overseen by co-founder Sergey Brin. Two popular projects include Google Glass and the Google driverless car. A new report claims Microsoft has formed a similar group inside Microsoft dubbed “Special Projects Group in Microsoft Research (MSR).”  The group’s mission is specifically to work on “disruptive technologies that could benefit the company and society.” In addition the new group will address “hard and interesting problems” in the areas of systems, networking, distributed computing, UX design, devices, cloud, mobility, machine learning/artifical intelligence, big data and datacenter technologies. According to the report, the new MSR Special Projects team boss is Norman Whitaker. Whitaker was previously Deputy Director of the Information Innovation Office at DARPA, the U.S. Department of Defense’s research arm and Program Manager for the DARPA Urban Challenge program. DARPA has had close ties to Google in the past and funded projects ...

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Leslie Lamport of Microsoft Research is rewarded for his outstanding contributions to computer science with the 2013 ACM A.M. Turing Award.  Lamport is well known to computer scientists around the world for his foundational work in distributed computing, including the creation of the Paxos algorithm for implementing fault-tolerant distributed systems.  His 1978 paper Time, Clocks, and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System is one of the most cited in the history of computer science. Lamport’s immense contributions have resulted in improved correctness, performance, and reliability of computer systems used around the world today. Source: Channel 9 ...

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Bill Gates stepped down from Microsoft in 2008 and devoted to most of his time to philanthropic activities since then.  Gates is still chairman of the board at Microsoft is the company’s largest shareholder, owning roughly 8% of the company and has been working closely with Ballmer lately on the re-org plan. Gates will be keynoting the the annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit on July 15 and 16.  Four hundred elite academic investigators will gather at the event in Redmond, Washington, to explore the future with Microsoft researchers.  This will be Gates first appearance back since 2005. Gates will address the role of computing in solving global problems, and then take questions from the in-person audience and online viewers. The keynote will be rebroadcast later in the day, but if you have a question for this leader in computing and philanthropy, be sure to view live at 9 a.m. PT on ...

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