Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer Emphasizes Importance of Research And Collaboration for the Future of Technology

REDMOND, Wash., March 12, 2001 — Speaking today at ACM1: Beyond Cyberspace, the world’s fair for information technology held at the San Jose Convention Center, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer stressed the need for synergy between the computer industry and research communities. Ballmer discussed work done at Microsoft Research labs ( ), shared insights into how advanced research has contributed to improving Microsoft® products, and highlighted examples of Microsoft’s collaboration with universities and other research institutions to solve complex computing challenges. The ACM1 conference and expo is organized every four years by the Association for Computing Machinery, the largest international educational and scientific society in the IT and computing field.

“To succeed in pushing the boundaries of computing, Microsoft and every technology company must combine their talent and resources with those of universities, government agencies and other institutions,”
Ballmer said.
“The pace of change today is incredibly rapid, and there has never been a more critical time for industry, academia and government to get together and jointly figure out how best to develop new ideas and solve some of the big challenges facing our customers every day.”

Ballmer also spoke of the importance of adopting open standards, such as XML, and of continued corporate investment in basic computer research. This year, Microsoft will spend more than $4 billion on research and development — one of the highest investments in relation to revenues among large technology companies.

At the ACM1 expo, Microsoft showed some of the fruits of its own basic research in its booth (Booth U-3). The company demonstrated several innovative technologies, primarily from its research division, Microsoft Research. Formed in 1991 to tackle some of the toughest problems in computer technology, Microsoft Research now employs more than 600 people in some 40 technology disciplines at four research centers worldwide. More than a dozen demonstrations, many of them shown publicly for the first time, showcased the company’s work in five general areas of computer science:

  • Graphics

  • “Smart”

  • User interfaces and intelligent systems

  • Multimedia and collaboration

  • Virtual interaction

The Microsoft booth also featured an
living room, 3-D user interfaces, a new
“360-degree camera”
and software for virtual meetings, mobile devices using speech recognition, and computer games with characters that look like the user.

The ACM1 expo is open free of charge to the public and features hands-on technology demonstrations from more than 70 of the world’s leading companies, universities and research labs. Expo floor hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, March 12, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13. The entire conference can be accessed on the Internet via live streaming, sponsored by Microsoft and delivered exclusively via Digital Island Inc. through a global content delivery network. Interested parties can view the conference by visiting and clicking on the registration link.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software –
any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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