It is sometimes pointed out how Microsoft’s research wing doesn’t get plenty of concepts off the drawing board and to that tangible, usable stage. When Microsoft Research does get projects out, we get products that could be applied to anything such as enhancing entertainment in living rooms.
Yesterday Bloomberg Business gave more insight into Microsoft Research, it’s current push, relation with the company overall, and structure. CEO Satya Nadella’s wants the research wing to focus on getting more projects and ideas into the realm of reality. One of the main approaches to this is in shortening the distance between the research teams and the rest of Microsoft.
This is in line with Nadella pushing for Microsoft to do more since taking over almost two years ago. Later that same year, the CEO moved 500 research employees to the company’s MSR NExT project to focus on going beyond research. The other half left over were tasked with contributing to Microsoft as a whole.
The new approach is similar to how Google is known to work. Prior to Alphabet being formed to focus on unique projects, Google moved far beyond what brought it to the dance in being centered on the internet to exploring self-driving cars and wearables such as the Google Glass. Even in relation to Google focusing on the internet, it pushed innovations to its Chrome browser such as voice recognition and photo matching. A close relationship between the product wing and research wing resulted in the expansion of YouTube into the Music and Gaming arenas.
Microsoft isn’t without its own projects that have resulted in a strong relationship with the research wing—such as HoloLens, Cortana, and Skype Translate—but with a heavier push to have Microsoft Research contribute, we could see greater, more frequent output via new features in current products and new products in general.