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Look What's Cooking At Microsoft Labs

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the smart-people-cool-toys dept.

Microsoft 125

stinkymountain writes "Writer John Brandon spent two days at Microsoft Research Labs in Redmond and got an inside look at some pretty interesting projects under development, including a robotic receptionist, a new type of touch screen for people with fat fingers, and an electronic table that allows multiple people to collaborate in real time. Brandon also talks about some of these research projects on this NPR podcast."

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Eagle 1 (5, Interesting)

GMonkeyLouie (1372035) | more than 5 years ago | (#25960773)

Eagle 1 looks quite awesome, think how great that would be for disaster control if you could see a real-time map of where the flood waters are rising fastest, where the fires are spreading from, or whatever the current disaster of the day might be. Making it interactive/collaborative sounds great, so you could draw little plans of attack and have them distributed to everyone in your organization.

I've never been a real Microsoft groupie but this sounds very civic-minded, innovative, and useful.

In other news, I would love to have a similar product for city-wide games of paintball or capture the flag.

Re:Eagle 1 (1)

th3rtythr33 (1191409) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961445)

Forget civic-minded, innovative, and useful. This sounds like a great opportunity for a new Sim City, now with multiplayer!

Re:Eagle 1 (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25961633)

Right up until it BSODs...

Re:Eagle 1 (3, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961903)

This invention [perceptivepixel.com] has already been invented and is marketed to the government, military and other clients. Perceptive Pixel also developed the interactive map John King would use to show election results; didn't you see the Daily Show [huffingtonpost.com] ? :)

Re:Eagle 1 (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 5 years ago | (#25963445)

Or TouchTable [touchtable.com] which is in use by gov't and numerous others...pretty cool stuff (played with it a few times myself). So nothing new, except may be networking two or more of them together, but I think they already did that.

No need to apologize (4, Insightful)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961921)

Isn't interesting that every time there are news about some MS project, some people have the need to almost apologize for liking some of their products/ideas? DON'T DO THAT. Be proud. MS are like any other company out there: with some great ideas/ products mixed with some not so great ones. Sure, this is slashdot and it's not hip and cool to say that you are:

- A windows user and satisfied with it

- A .net developer who think .net is a great platform

- An user who thinks that the ribbon are is a great innovation

etc...

But hey, there is no need to apologize. Don't be part of that stupid trend.

"This sounds very civic-minded, innovative, and useful." - There, I fixed that for ya.

Re:No need to apologize (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25962519)

Fuck Microsoft and fuck you. Microsoft is a lumbering pestilence that slowly but surely will be brought down. Ray Ozzie can't save them no matter what Gates thinks. Their "innovations" are nothing but gorilla arm inducing pathetic jokes. Really, they don't innovate shit, they copy or outright steal everything they do. Balmer, "ZOMG G0ogle IS DOING SOMEHTING, LETS DO IT 2!!ONE". And, furthermore, you're proud of being a .net developer? The slowest, buggiest apps on my Win2000 virtual machines are .net apps. I'd actually prefer they were coded in Qbasic. At least then maybe they wouldn't crash on a daily basis.

The only thing Microsoft ever did that was actually worth a shit was the taskbar in Windows 95. Seriously, it's almost sublime. I actually kind of like it and honestly have yet to find another approach that works better for me so, honestly, I basically mimic the basic idea of it in the window managers of all the platforms I use. Obviously in Windows form, it's very limited but with other OS's the taskbar tends to actually be very configurable. But that's it, it's the only one. Practically everything else Microsoft shits out completely and totally sucks. The only reason people continue to use it is, Macs perceived prices are too high, and Windows supports all hardware and the vast majority of proprietary apps out there. The only reason I use it in a virtual machine is I have 2 business apps that are naturally written in .net that won't run in wine or mono. If it wasn't for that and I had the ability to rewrite those apps in a saner language, I'd drop windows like the detritus that it is.

And, no, I'll never apologize for despising a monopoly abusing, anti-innovating, ham handed 3 ring sideshow like Microsoft.

Re:No need to apologize (3, Funny)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25964107)

Sorry in advance, but I actually liked the ribbon on the new MS Office.

Re:No need to apologize (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25964267)

I agree.

The problem isn't what Microsoft is researching... it's what they do with the products after research and it moves into production.

Re:No need to apologize (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#25966397)

exactly. Ms is well known for ruining good ideas by letting marketing have more pull than the guys building it.

That is why playsforsure no longer is a sure thing.

Robotic receptionist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25960819)

You have to reactivate it with flowers every fucking year. And no blow jobs.

If I Had to Guess ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25960835)

What's Cooking At Microsoft Labs

Probably Kool-Aid [wikipedia.org] .

Re:If I Had to Guess ... (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961425)

At least Apple employees get to drink Electric Kool-Aid [wikipedia.org]

Re:If I Had to Guess ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25961979)

I'm surprised you didn't try the "they're cooking up FUD" joke...

Mm, this fud tastes good!

Nothing to see here. (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 5 years ago | (#25960839)

I like the one of Big Ben, the others seems uses of a big touch screen or/and boring.

Re:Nothing to see here. (1, Informative)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25962637)

Yeah, more than half were touch screen stuff of various flavors. I guess everyone at MS bought an iphone touch and is totally in love with it.

Sidenote, the best codename was the project to develop a robotic receptionist, "Codename: Robotic Receptionist." I really wish more codenames were more accurate like that.

Operation: invade Iraq and replace Saddam's government with a puppet government in 2 weeks. That is less pompus than "Operation: Enduring freedom" or whatever was.

Re:Nothing to see here. (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 5 years ago | (#25965883)

It's not easy enduring freedom.

History (3, Insightful)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 5 years ago | (#25960855)

MS Labs have a long history of hit-or-miss projects. Some are great, most are not and get killed off sometime during product development. Let's hope some of them get to see a release date!!

Re:History (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961129)

And then even the great ones are subjected to MS Marketing, which means they'll die a slow and agonizing death while their retarded younger brother gets pushed into the spotlight.

Re:History (4, Interesting)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961675)

I was involved with the development and testing of "blackbird" a million years ago by microsoft, which would have owned them pretty much the entire internet in the late 90's had they decided to go through with it.

But they didn't. Biggest reason? They didn't like that everyone that wanted to develop for it used Macs. There was an enormous Ballmer shaped problem with porting the SDK to Mac OS. So instead of just not doing that and releasing it anyhow, they canned the entire idea, amputating half the department that came up with it.

And that's microsoft.

Re:History (1)

lalleglad (39849) | more than 5 years ago | (#25965523)

Well, I've worked for a few North American companies and I think this is the norm rather than specific to MS.

A P or VP decides upon something and then goes out'a his way to prove he made the right decision making sure everyone below him knows it is his way or the highway.

And not until the entire company tanks you get to know which decisions seems to have been wrong that made the company tank, while he is laughing all the way to the bank. Well, he only got $20mill instead of $100mill, but who's counting?!

And MS isn't even close to tanking, so really, who's counting!?!!!

Re:History (4, Informative)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961799)

So Multitouch screen software, ditto, ditto, ditto, VS upgrade, Novelty receptionist blah blah blah

Where is the innovation? All these are projects that are minor variants of things we have seen before? and other companies are doing already .... ?

Re:History revisited [sic] (1)

kgibbsvt (162082) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961931)

Bingo!! If this is all they've got then they are up the creek. Even the Eagle thing is a big yawn as I am sure I've seen something somewhat similar in a GIS or remote-sensing magazine. (Ooh, ooh, but they merge data! Big wow!!)

Re:History (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25963935)

On the bright side, unlike stuff coming out of Google Labs, many products actually do eventually come out of beta and have a release date,... ;-)

Re:History (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#25966611)

Ah but that is the kicker vista as released to the world would be a .8 or.9 release for Linux distro. Google is the same. It comes out of beta when it is feature complete and stable. While bugs may exist stability is already achieved.

Re:History (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25964141)

So does Google. If everybody has to spend part of their time on their own projects and Google employs several thousand engineers then they must have thousands of failed experiments. For every successful Linux project there are a thousand stillborn on sourceforge.

Really R&D always has more failures than successes, its just the nature of the game, but its those successes that give you your competitive advantage.

Single page edition (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25960871)

Re:Single page edition (1)

c0p0n (770852) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961801)

Nice one :)

Summary -- (5, Informative)

Taimat (944976) | more than 5 years ago | (#25960893)

Microsoft Surface for a coffee table; surface for a card table; surface for a wall; surface for a small tablet; oh, and something called "visual Studio" -- that one probably won't catch on.

electronic table (2, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#25960897)

Does the electronic table come with an autoeject for the chairs around it?

Robotic Receptionist? Old News... (5, Interesting)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25960903)

At the Cisco campus that I recently visited in SanJose, if you visit one of the less visited buildings (like one occupied by Engineers as opposed to the Briefing Center building), instead of a receptionist sitting at the desk, at the desk is a box the size of a microwave and a 40in HDTV on the wall. You push a button on the 'box' and it calls a centralized receptionist, who then appears on the TV (this might be the same tech as their Telepresence product). Anyhow, if you need a guest badge, she records your information and a guest badge is dispensed from the box on the desk.

I'm assuming that the remote receptionist can do all the other tasks as well (calling someone down etc..)

Re:Robotic Receptionist? Old News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25961195)

there's one essential task that comes to mind where she'll fail. However not every company's as lucky as we've been with recruiting hot but dirty receptionists...

Re:Robotic Receptionist? Old News... (5, Funny)

ratnerstar (609443) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961345)

Dude, you haven't truly sexually harassed anyone until you've sexually harassed a robot receptionist.

Re:Robotic Receptionist? Old News... (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 5 years ago | (#25963533)

Haven't you learned by now that you can't fit a round peg into a square hole?

Re:Robotic Receptionist? Old News... (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25966945)

I'm still looking for her G Spot.

Re:Robotic Receptionist? Old News... (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#25963287)

That's more of a remote-control reception desk, not a robotic receptionist. Close, though.

uh oh (5, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25960907)

If they get a patent on using a touchscreen with fat, cheetos-covered fingers, linux is doomed!

Re:uh oh (1)

realkiwi (23584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961103)

...and do people with fat fingers really need a touchscreen?

Re:uh oh (4, Insightful)

ChrisStrickler (1157941) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961617)

I once worked where we had to wear environmental hazard suits, and we had a few keyboards that were meant for the fat-fingers of the gloved hands - so I could see at least one instance where this would be nice (assuming you needed to operate a touchscreen while in a hazard suit).


I am sure there are others besides the self-checkout aisle of your local Wal-Mart.

Re:uh oh (4, Funny)

up2ng (110551) | more than 5 years ago | (#25962027)

I once worked where we had to wear environmental hazard suits,

Took a job cleaning a White Castle bathroom, didja ?

Re:uh oh (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#25962201)

Military.

Try working a touchscreen while wearing arctic gloves. When I was working on a touchscreen based product for the Army, I made sure to bring my ski gloves in as a "unit test". Not as fat as arctic gloves, but still a reasonable test.

Re:uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25963497)

From further up this thread line:

If they get a patent on using a touchscreen with fat, cheetos-covered fingers, linux is doomed!

From parent:

I once worked where we had to wear environmental hazard suits...

Am I the only one who initially thought that the parent needed an Environmental Hazard suit to work near the people who would need a fat-fingered touch screen?

Aptly enough, my Capcha Word is "corrode"

Re:uh oh (1)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961107)

If they get a patent on using a touchscreen with fat, cheetos-covered fingers, linux is doomed!

It will be the year of Windows desktop!

Ops, there's something wrong here.

Re:uh oh (3, Interesting)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#25963309)

Not something wrong, but it makes you wonder...

Why now do we see Microsoft trying harder than before?

Slower sales? Pitching the company instead of a product? Trying to recover from the slump in stock sales? Trying to recover from years of a bad image before it hits them hard?

Why does Microsoft view the brand as declining value?

Re:uh oh (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961399)

So in the future Linux's children will use the Microsoft "Baron Harkonnen" Surface... interesting.

Re:uh oh (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#25963339)

...and they will walk in the tips of their toes, supported by anti-grav generators hidden in the folds of fat of their bellies, buttocks and thighs

Supersize me 2, anyone?

Re:uh oh (1)

GoGreenSlashWhite (1421573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25967103)

I would sure hate to break it to my lovely receptionist that we just got her the new "fat finger" touch screen.

"Here ya go, Merry Christmas"

Print View (-1, Redundant)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 5 years ago | (#25960911)

Do yourself a favour and click on the print link to view the whole page as one

Re:Print View (1)

GMonkeyLouie (1372035) | more than 5 years ago | (#25960969)

That's what she said!

No, but actually, that was useful, and thank you.

gentlemen (2, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#25960937)

start your chair jokes.

Re:gentlemen (-1, Troll)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961497)

Meh. What's cooking at Microsoft labs is a big bubbling pot of hot, delicious, freshly cooked FAIL.

Re:gentlemen (3, Funny)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25962705)

These two chairs walked into a bar ....

*shrug* I got nothing.

Re:gentlemen (1)

brentonboy (1067468) | more than 5 years ago | (#25964569)

Chairs? Why? Am I missing something?

Money better spent elsewhere? (0)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 5 years ago | (#25960947)

Change "advertising" in this [apple.com] to "research budget" and it's apropos. :P

Killer bride (4, Funny)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25960971)

The robotic receptionist - which will be used at Microsoft headquarters, likely next year - will help Microsoft visitors find shuttles to get around campus. The receptionist can even identify visitors based on what they are wearing and provide information on shuttle routes using GPS tracking data.

Robotic voice:

- You're wearing a ...yellow ... Linux ... T-shirt. You have a ... Hattori Hanzo ... sword. You must be here to... kill... Bill. Please take the next shuttle on your right.

With Voice Recognition? (4, Funny)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#25962069)

You:
-Im here to visit my dear mom who works here

Robotic voice:
-You are here to ... dear aunt ... lets set ... so double ... the killer ... delete ... select all
 

Re:With Voice Recognition? (0, Redundant)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#25963371)

You:
-Im here to visit my dear mom who works here

Robotic voice:
-You are here to ... dear aunt ... hovercraft ... so double ... the killer ... delete ... select all ... eels

An Opportunity for More Bload (2, Funny)

charleste (537078) | more than 5 years ago | (#25960981)

IMHO - and I'm no longer in an MS shop - is that OSLO and VS2010 both add up to HuYOOGE code bloat if prior MS tools are any indication. What MS needs to do, since they're obviously trying to automagic stuff more and more, is to sort out including their whole freaking library in the binaries by default.

Re:An Opportunity for More Bload - oops (1)

charleste (537078) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961011)

s/Bload/Bloat... damnit shoulda previewed!

Re:An Opportunity for More Bload - oops (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#25963377)

That's okay, bloat makes sense. I'm still trying to find a definition for "HuYOOGE" though.

What a reception (0, Troll)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961005)

So one of the proposals is an electronic robot receptionist...

Robot: Welcome to Microsoft
Visitor: I'd like to talk to a human.
Robot: I'm sorry, you're request did not compute, please [BSOD replaces face render].

Re:What a reception (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961711)

A man walks up to the reception desk at Microsoft.

Man: "Hello, I have an appointment with Mr Ballmer"
Receptionbot: "Dear Aunt, Kill Delete Select All... must kill, must kill, must kill..."

Re:What a reception (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961813)

or...

A man walks up to the reception desk at Microsoft.

Man: "Hello, I have an appointment with Mr Ballmer"
MissClippy: "Hi, It looks like you want meet with Mr Ballmer... I can help you with that..."

Re:What a reception (1)

BorgAssimilator (1167391) | more than 5 years ago | (#25964193)

How DARE you post a comment here on /. that suggests Microsoft creates something that actually works! Don't you know that they're a large corporate entity and because of such they can't ever do anything good?

Page 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25961065)

got an inside look at some pretty interesting projects under development, including a robotic receptionist

The REAL interesting part is that they're working on the next series of ads with Jerry Seinfeld!

The plot is this:

The Mac Guy, being smug, steps on Jerry's hand after Jerry has tripped on the sidewalk. The PC guy helps Jerry up. Jerry says "Thanks! I'm a PC too!"

Then they chase after Mac Guy, who is super-fast and runs far into the distance.

PC then makes a phone call using his Windows hand-held, and orders a bunch of advertising executives to hit Mac "head-on".

Then a "Head-On" parody commercial starts.

After that, the ad executives leave Mac bloody on the sidewalk. They immediately decide to create an "electronic table", and get into their MS-powered GM car, which fails to start and ultimately gets hit by a tandem truck.

Then hot iPhone girl finds Mac, brushes him off, and have a three-some with iPod chick.

Later, Seinfeld meets PC guy, and they are all smug regarding how they destroyed Mac guy.

Jerry goes home, fires up his Mac, and calls his parents on his iPhone.

Re:Page 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25961247)

Then they chase after Mac Guy, who is super-fast and runs far into the distance.

You forgot to mention that the Mac guy wears a rainbow tight t-shirt and runs like a deer.

Re:Page 2 (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25963845)

Also, jerry gets a date with that model girl from vista/bruce springsteen video. After their date, she invites him up for "hot coffee". As she changes into "something comfortable", he looks through a photo album and discovers she's Newman's sister. This causes him to lose his stiffy and leave the apartment in shame, as she laughs uncontrollably.

Interesting stuff (3, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961109)

I especially enjoyed the video of Dr. Bunson Honeydew's research. I felt a bit sorry for his research assistant, though - that poor guy gets all the scut jobs.

Re:Interesting stuff (1)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961787)

Dave, Dave, come see the dancing fire elves!!

Oh, um, yeah... they are ripping off Teh Lunix!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25961139)

Oh, er... all this stuff is showing up in Teh Lunix... been working on it for years! Really! It's going to be in, like, the next version or something.... (damn, we gotta get working on chasing more MS tail lights right away...).

gaaah! (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961173)

gaah! is it just me or did I mentally change "developing" into "smothering with patents"...?

well I guess its fair that if they want to pay for developing nice toys then they should get some payback, though I really wonder how much you can patent on touch sensitive surfaces? I would imagine you could be limited to copyright on your interface, right / wrong?

I was amused to see a touch sensitive interface in the new James Bond film. I was looking for a logo to see if they were advertising anybody on that one...

Re:gaaah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25962165)

I'm pretty sure there are some patents to get there, considering Microsoft's acquiring around 5000 patents/year, and touch tablets being a big focus atm they're bound to find some tiny things to patent with stifling-potential.

"Office Space" cure for fat fingers... (3, Funny)

Vexler (127353) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961231)

It's called the "Jump-To-Conclusion Mat".

Who needs a special touch pad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25961295)

Touch screens should just provide feedback that says "The fingers you are using on this touch screen are too fat. Please mash your palm on the touch screen to obtain a special touch wand."

Fat fingers! (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961429)

"...including a robotic receptionist, a new type of touch screen for people with fat fingers" Hey! I saw they used that on the Axiom in Wall-E .

Blue Mouse (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961435)

While I was in college I once spent the summer installing computers at a small company. After a few installations I received a few calls from people having trouble with their mouse. I soon discovered that these people had one thing in common, red mousepads.

Sure this new blue mouse will work on a variety of surfaces, but will it work on my blue mousepad?

Summary (5, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961867)

For those who are too lazy, the projects can be summarized in a few words: Big ass
  • Codename: Eagle 1
    Looks like something that we see in spy movies where a Command Center has access to all the topographical maps and information that it needs in an instant but for disaster recovery and planning. Looks promising. Like all collaborative efforts, success will depend on how well the individual components work well together (databases, etc). Big ass collaboration
  • Codename: Surface
    Kiosk technology. Not really intended for home users. At $12,500 each (with discounts), I see this more as a novelty more than practical. Big ass table
  • Code name: Pictionaire
    I'm not exactly sure what this is. It appears to be the software that Surface runs so I don't think it counts as a separate project. Software for big ass table.
  • Codename: Touch Wall
    An interactive semi-transparent monitor ala Minority Report. The main difference was the interaction in Minority report was with holograms and this is a hard surface. Big ass touchscreen wall monitor.
  • Codename: Paris/Social Streams
    News aggregator that is focused more on relationships and content than search terms. Might be useful for data mining. Big ass aggregator
  • Codename: LucidTouch
    Extends touch surfaces on mobile by allowing users to reach behind the screen so that your fat fingers don't block what you are trying to select. This however doesn't solve the compromise of portability of mobile devices with the need for larger screens. Touch surface for your big ass fingers.
  • Codename: OSLO
    Extends software development from sharing code to data models as well. Big ass application development modeling
  • Codename: Visual Studio 2010
    Well this uses OSLO and is the next version of Visual Studio so putting it into its own project is a bit of a stretch. Big ass IDE.
  • Codename: BlueTrack
    New MS mice will allow to be used on rougher surfaces like tile and wood than before by increasing the sampling rate of the laser among other advances . New laser mice with big ass oversampling
  • Codename: Robotic Receptionist
    I think this is software but a virtual receptionist that can interact with and track visitors. Big ass big brother.

Did I miss any big asses?

Re:Summary (3, Informative)

clintp (5169) | more than 5 years ago | (#25962083)

Read TFA. No, you didn't miss any of them. Thanks for the summary.

While I'm generally a fan of Microsoft products (yes, boo hiss) these are all pretty lame. Four of them are touchscreens or variants thereof.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Re:Summary (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25962389)

The guy pictured on page 5 must not have been too fond of how you labeled him...

Re:Summary (1)

greenguy (162630) | more than 5 years ago | (#25962437)

Code name: Pictionaire
I'm not exactly sure what this is.

This is a gaming environment with a stylus interface. The way it works is the user generates input by creating a Drawing®. The computer gets a set amount of time to correctly interpret the Drawing®. If it does so, it wins! If not, another process gets a turn.

Re:Summary (1)

rwyoder (759998) | more than 5 years ago | (#25962495)

Codename: Robotic Receptionist
I think this is software but a virtual receptionist that can interact with and track visitors. Big ass big brother.

I think I've seen prior art: Max Headroom

Re:Summary (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25962981)

Did I miss any big asses?

No, Mixalot, I think you covered just about all of them.

Re:Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25965633)

For those who are too lazy, the projects can be summarized in a few words: Big ass

  • Codename: Eagle 1

    Looks like something that we see in spy movies where a Command Center has access to all the topographical maps and information that it needs in an instant but for disaster recovery and planning. Looks promising. Like all collaborative efforts, success will depend on how well the individual components work well together (databases, etc). Big ass-collaboration

  • Codename: Surface

    Kiosk technology. Not really intended for home users. At $12,500 each (with discounts), I see this more as a novelty more than practical. Big ass-table

  • Code name: Pictionaire

    I'm not exactly sure what this is. It appears to be the software that Surface runs so I don't think it counts as a separate project. Software for big ass-table.

  • Codename: Touch Wall

    An interactive semi-transparent monitor ala Minority Report. The main difference was the interaction in Minority report was with holograms and this is a hard surface. Big ass-touchscreen-wall-monitor.

  • Codename: Paris/Social Streams

    News aggregator that is focused more on relationships and content than search terms. Might be useful for data mining. Big ass-aggregator

  • Codename: LucidTouch

    Extends touch surfaces on mobile by allowing users to reach behind the screen so that your fat fingers don't block what you are trying to select. This however doesn't solve the compromise of portability of mobile devices with the need for larger screens. Touch surface for your big ass-fingers.

  • Codename: OSLO

    Extends software development from sharing code to data models as well.
    Big ass-application-development-modeling

  • Codename: Visual Studio 2010

    Well this uses OSLO and is the next version of Visual Studio so putting it into its own project is a bit of a stretch. Big ass-IDE.

  • Codename: BlueTrack

    New MS mice will allow to be used on rougher surfaces like tile and wood than before by increasing the sampling rate of the laser among other advances . New laser mice with big ass-oversampling

  • Codename: Robotic Receptionist

    I think this is software but a virtual receptionist that can interact with and track visitors. Big ass-big-brother.

Did I miss any big asses?

Fixed that for ya.. http://www.xkcd.com/37/

Nice tag (0, Offtopic)

Kernel Rootkits (1422221) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961971)

LMAO I love the mashthekeypad tag that's hilarious!

Photosynth rocks!!!! (2, Interesting)

gsgriffin (1195771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25961991)

I don't care about MS or what people have against whatever.

Photosynth is amazing!!!

I had some old photos taken of a climbing wall with my kids on different places at different times and from different angles. I uploaded all the photos and BAM!! It stitched them all together and gave us a realtime multi-perspective look at it. Whatever gripes you have about MS, give them credit when they are working on something that it really cool!!!

Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25962125)

electronic table that allows multiple people to collaborate in real time

I saw this in Iron Man. Hasbro owns the rights.

windex must love this (1)

supajerm (1415313) | more than 5 years ago | (#25962149)

Anyone concider windex may be in cahoots with microsoft here? I looked at the first like 5 projects and atleast 3 of those were all touchscreen related. Must we make everything all touchscreen now? Please tell me I'm not the only one sick of seeing a touchscreen by now. I don't see the big deal about it besides creating blurry/greasy screens everywhere for people to view. Thats a great idea, lets setup a touchscreen table for socializing!! It can play games and bring up conversation topics, and we can spill beer and food all over it, and it still works! It's a great idea! ...now who wants to work the sticky touchscreen next round of games?

Re:windex must love this (1)

home-electro.com (1284676) | more than 5 years ago | (#25962379)

Yes it's amazing how touchscreen is being pushed everywhere.

Re:windex must love this (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#25963519)

Microsoft realized it can't make any more money on keyboards until they digitize them.

Receptionist? (2, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25962159)

including a robotic receptionist

For proprietary, trade-secret reasons, MS needed to develop a workforce that doesn't need chairs. Microsoft spokeswoman C. DeFenestra refused comment.

Boring (0)

home-electro.com (1284676) | more than 5 years ago | (#25962343)

Nothing to see there. RTFA if you want to be certain of that.

I especially hate robotic receptionist. As if having to speak to voice recognition thing over the phone is not annoying enough.

WOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25962799)

It is truly sad when they have to make a touch screen for people with fat fingers... "Microsoft: where being is fat is encouraged"

Multiple sources? (1)

JediTrainer (314273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25963071)

All the data is shown in a real-time interactive map using Virtual Earth, but the key is how Eagle 1 pulls data from many different sources (such as from both Oracle and SAP databases)

Nobody thought of MS-SQL I guess. Or maybe they did.

Operator: (1)

hamburgler007 (1420537) | more than 5 years ago | (#25963167)

"The fingers you have used to dial are too fat. To obtain a special dialing wand, please mash the keypad with your palm now."

touch screen for people with fat fingers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25963471)

I hope this is designed to resist cheese puff stains.

Health Care? (1)

tbrex33 (1422101) | more than 5 years ago | (#25964325)

It would be interesting to see if any of these new projects will be implemented in a health care / hospital environment. A Lucidtouch x-ray display anyone?

Look What's Cooking At Microsoft Labs... (1)

alxkit (941262) | more than 5 years ago | (#25965607)

is it people? tell me its NOT people!
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