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Story: Microsoft's Talent Defections Indicate the Outlook for MrSoftyTotal Replies: 4
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Jul 21, 2005
10:55 AM EDT
Let the hemorrhage continue!

Jul 21, 2005
1:15 PM EDT
I'm almost inclined to think "big deal" about the defections of a few staff from MSFT, even high-level staff like the lawsuit is over.

What matters more is Microsoft Research, A.K.A. the "Researcher Roach Hotel" - they go in, and nothing ever comes out. A lot of academics, Rick Rashid (CMU Mach developer), Chris Fraser and David Hanson (Princeton and Bell Labs, lcc) (although it appears that Hanson is one of the defectors to Google!), Todd Probesting, Benjamin Zorn (CU) and many many others.

It appears to me that MSFT is using some of its $40 BILLION to gather up all the academic comp sci researchers and patent their inventions, keeping a bunch of genies in bottles. A lot of the MSFT Research guys would publish copiously in the past, and now they don't. What research did this deprive society of?

If MSFT Research starts hemorraghing, that's a good sign.

Jul 21, 2005
5:06 PM EDT
Hmmm I went to a seminar recently by someone from M$ research talking about abstract algebra. Keep up the good work MrSofty, theorems in pure math will stave off the Google/Linux push for sure ;-)

Jul 22, 2005
5:04 AM EDT
On the other hand, abstract algebra can help if you're going to make something like the inactive Tunes project wanted to make. (See Like reflective metaprogramming and that kind of stuff. But I'm afraid Microsoft isn't going to make something like that. They rather upgrade their teletubbies-mountain.

Jul 22, 2005
5:33 AM EDT
richo123 - sorry, I have to disagree. Basic research efforts are exactly the type of work necessary to build a foundation from which unexpected, unplanned advances stem. The unknown is not elucidated by following a map. Science advances when the unexpected results are explained with new models.

What you are criticizing too might be in a sense very applied type mathematics useful in search routines, e.g. methods to evaluate both the likelihood of validity and pertinence to a query.

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