Jon Roskill: Worldwide Partner Conference 2010 – Day 3

Remarks by Jon Roskill, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group
Washington, D.C.
July 14, 2010

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Microsoft’s corporate vice president, Worldwide Partner Group, Jon Roskill. (Cheers, applause.)

JON ROSKILL: All right, good morning, everybody. Welcome to WPC day three. What did everyone think about Playing for Change there? (Cheers, applause.) Pretty cool, huh? Playing for Change: It’s a bunch of street musicians who got together, they got together, and they’re playing and they’re raising money for music education, that’s funding music education in emerging markets like Africa. So, great, great band, and we’re very happy to have them here at WPC.

And I want to also plug them. They’re going to be playing at the WPC closing party that’s tomorrow. That’s at 4:00 tomorrow, OK?

So, great, great day two yesterday. It started off over here. We had the consumer keynotes where we got to see lots of cool consumer-oriented work from Microsoft.

Then I went over the latest Microsoft Partner Network updates, we covered off some of the new cloud badging and membership options, Cloud Essentials, the Cloud Accelerate, and also encouraged everybody to get their profiles updated in Pinpoint. So, if you haven’t done that, you want to go ahead and get out and do that.

From there we went back over to the convention center, and we had lots more tracks, the expo hall was open.

And then they actually let me loose last night. I got to get out and see some of you out in the various parties and affairs going on. They took me over to the Italian embassy. Anybody here from Italy? (Cheers, applause.) Yeah? All right. So, we went over to the Italian embassy. We met with a bunch of Italian partners who were out there. They’re doing a building-business session over at the Italian embassy on how they can drive business here into the U.S. So, I got to meet with them and folks at the embassy, and they want you know that Italy is open for business, OK?

So, from there, then we went over to the U.K. party. Anyone here from the U.K.? (Cheers, applause.) All right, that’s good to hear the U.K. guys aren’t still in bed. And so we got to meet the resellers and some SIs from the U.K., and I met the hosting partner of the year, which is a company called Outsorcery. (Cheers.) There you go. The Outsorcery guys are here. So, really enjoyed meeting them.

And then the last place we went last night was we went over to the OEM party. So, any OEM and distis here? (Cheers, applause.) All right. So, yeah, we got to meet some OEMs and distis over, and what an amazing place that was. We had a tremendous view of the Capitol building, you could see the Capitol building on one side and the Washington Monument over on the other side.

OK, so here we are, it’s day three. We still have two great days to go. We’re going to wrap it up over here at the Verizon with this morning. I’m going to cover the A list. Then Kevin Turner is going to come out and talk about his vision and how we’re going to compete. And then we’re going to have Bill Clinton, and then we’re going to go from there, we’ve got the regional and segment keynotes. And then we’ll wrap it all up through tomorrow with the closing party at 4:00.

So, one of the things I want to do is stop for a second, though, and recognize a group of people who make this show happen. If they weren’t around, if they weren’t here helping out, this show would not be in existence, and that’s the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group. And we’ve got a whole bunch of them sitting right over here. So, come on, folks, please stand up, stand up. Come on! (Applause.) And any of you out in the audience, any of you out there, go ahead and stand up. Let’s give them a big hand. (Applause.) These are the folks that I now have the pleasure of working with in my new role, and I’m very proud to be here. They’ve done a fantastic job of getting me ready to get out in front of all of you and represent them. So, again a big, big thanks to them.

OK, so the next thing we’re going to do is we’ve had this car that’s been in the expo booth. Some of you guys might have seen it. It’s a Ford Fusion. (Applause.) And we’re going to give the car away. So, we’ve had 892 of the people here in the room have played the contest, WPC, since Monday, to enter the chance to win the Ford Fusion with Sync technology, sponsored by Microsoft Financing.

In my hand I’ve got the winner of the drawing for the car. So, drum roll, please. The winner is Ed Scott of Insight. Now, I believe Ed is over here somewhere. (Cheers, applause.) Ed Scott, stand up. All right. (Cheers, applause.) Big, big congrats to Ed. That’s right, we figured out where you were. So, on behalf of the financing team and their providers, PNC, GE, and DLL, we congratulate you.

OK, so with that, let’s go ahead and get the show going here. So, we’re going to kick it off. Again, we’ve got KT and we’ve got Clinton, but what I want to do is go ahead and kick off the A list, which is one of the funnest parts of the whole show, and let’s go ahead and kick it off with this video, guys. Roll the video.

(Video segment.)

JON ROSKILL: Good morning! I’ve got Scott here from Intergrid, and Scott has got some really, really cool stuff to show us. So, let’s just jump right in.


I was the Chief Technology Officer at Whittier Digital for Lord of the Rings.

JON ROSKILL: Anybody here a Lord of the Rings fan? (Cheers, applause.) You guys want to see some Lord of the Rings stuff? This is going to be good!

SCOTT CHRISTIAN: So, it was 2003, there were 10 weeks to go in the production to create the special effects for Return of the King. The facility was at full capacity, but Peter had left his best shot till last. Have a look.

(Video segment.)

SCOTT CHRISTIAN: You know, Jon, some of these scenes contain over 14,000 digital horses and riders, and over 84,000 digital orcs. Each one of those had to be individually rendered and placed on the battlefield.

JON ROSKILL: We should probably just make sure everyone knows what an orc is.

SCOTT CHRISTIAN: Orcs are the really ugly ones.

JON ROSKILL: Yeah, the ugly one. You’re going to see more orcs in a minute.

SCOTT CHRISTIAN: Let’s see some more now.

JON ROSKILL: All right.

(Video segment.)

SCOTT CHRISTIAN: You know, we simply didn’t have enough processing capacity. We had to go out and buy a thousand processors, and build a brand new datacenter in the space of two weeks to get the movie completed on time.

JON ROSKILL: Exactly. You guys got it done, though, right?

SCOTT CHRISTIAN: Yeah. But I didn’t have gray hair before then. (Laughter.)

And I realized there had to be a better way. So, not long afterwards, I left Whittier, and I founded Intergrid, and we created a product called the Green Button.


SCOTT CHRISTIAN: So, the Green Button is a plug-in that we embed in an application to provide seamless access to Windows Azure for the end user.


SCOTT CHRISTIAN: Let’s have a look at it.

JON ROSKILL: Let’s have a look.

SCOTT CHRISTIAN: So, what we’re looking at is an application called Deep Exploration from Right Hemisphere. And this application is used by major manufacturing and design companies from all over the world.

Jon, it’s 2010, and the session is over, and you’ve just had a big promotion. You think it’s about time we refurbish your private jet?

JON ROSKILL: I’d love to have a chat with Kevin Turner when he comes out. (Laughter.)

SCOTT CHRISTIAN: All right. Well, just imagine that I’m the lead designer at Altitude Interiors, and we just won a major contract with a corporate client, and my client is due in to see the final design of the new jet.

What we’re looking at here is a wireframe model, but the final render takes multiple lighting sources, reflections and very complex textures.

Now, these could take hours to run on this desktop PC, but my client is coming in, in five minutes. But from today I can select the Green Button from the desktop menu, and use the power of Windows Azure to process this task in a fraction of the time.

JON ROSKILL: You click on that, the task is going out to Azure, and it’s coming back with the answer.

SCOTT CHRISTIAN: Absolutely. So, the data is now being encrypted, it’s being sent to Azure, the job has been put in the queue. The image is being broken down into pieces, and then distributed across 200 instances. When the job is complete, it’s reassembled and sent directly back to my desktop application at the push of a button, a Green Button.

JON ROSKILL: Let’s hope they’re awake in Dublin.


You know, this new service really empowers the end user to make the business decision, not the IT department. And, in fact, we share the revenue from each task with our ISV partners.


SCOTT CHRISTIAN: The Green Button also enables software developers to fast track their compute-intensive parts of their application to Windows Azure today.

JON ROSKILL: And we’re done.

SCOTT CHRISTIAN: And we’re done. (Applause.)

JON ROSKILL: Looks very great, I like that.

SCOTT CHRISTIAN: Yeah, it looks great, doesn’t it? You know, without the power of Windows Azure we simply could not have processed this task within that timeframe. And we believe the Green Button will revolutionize the way users access the power of the cloud in the future.

JON ROSKILL: OK. Well, great, that’s fantastic. Thank you very much, Scott.

SCOTT CHRISTIAN: Thank you very much. (Cheers, applause.)

JON ROSKILL: OK, we’re going to come on over here now. We’ve got Brett, who’s one of the general managers in Live Labs at Microsoft. Show us what you’ve got.

BRETT BREWER: All right. So, what we’re going to show is the latest project from Live Labs called Pivot.

So, I’m going to make some ambitious statements upfront. I’m going to load thousands of high-resolution images. They’ll all load about as fast as a normal Web page. You’ll be able to gain new insights by looking at the data in this way. And you’ll actually have fun swimming in this sea of data. So, let’s see how that works out.

JON ROSKILL: All right, let’s take a look.

BRETT BREWER: So, the first collection I’m going to show you is a collection of all Sports Illustrated magazine covers since 1954. So, what this is, is about 2,500 high-resolution images, and you can see that as we zoom in, these are high-resolution images for each of these. And what we’re showing is essentially across the decades all of the magazine covers.

So, one of the great points about Pivot is to be able to show or gain insights whether I’m looking at many things, few things or one thing. And one thing that sort of pops out at the forest level when looking at Sports Illustrated covers is you can actually see the design language of Sports Illustrated change over time. If you look in the ’50s and ’60s, you see a lot of white covers —

JON ROSKILL: Yeah, a lot of white.

BRETT BREWER: — browns, primary colors. You get into the ’80s and ’90s, you start seeing some more vibrant colors, blues. And then it’s really predominant in the 2000s where you actually see pastels really dominating the color sets.

So, without even diving into any metadata or even looking at any individual cover, we’ve actually learned something about Sports Illustrated that we wouldn’t have known any other way.

We can also use this view to sort of see the trend or popularity of different sports over time.

So, let’s click golf and filter this set down to golf, and you can see that golf was more popular in the ’60s but has sort of since died out.

JON ROSKILL: Like the Arnold Palmer days there.

BRETT BREWER: The Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus days, yes.

Something like horse racing is an extreme example that was very popular in the ’50s.

JON ROSKILL: In the ’50s, yeah, wow.

BRETT BREWER: But it’s kind of died out since then.

Let’s look at soccer. Now, this is an American magazine, so soccer doesn’t quite get the right amount that it should there. (Laughter.) But that’s OK, we’ll talk —

JON ROSKILL: You see it there in the ’90s, though, with the women. The U.S. women’s team won the World Cup. The women, yeah. (Cheers, applause.)

BRETT BREWER: Yeah, so we’ll talk a lot more about soccer later on, though.

So, that gives you an idea from one collection how you can, when looking at many things or a few things, gain some insights you would never see when looking at individual Web pages.

So, what I’m going to look at next is the dog breeds. So, this is a collection you might use to figure out what next dog you want to get for your kids. But this one in particular what I want to show is your collection or your data might not be about seeing the trends in many things, it might be about going deeply in one thing.

So, we leverage the Deep Zoom technology to be able to incorporate very high-resolution images. And maybe if I zoom into the eye of this dog, you can actually see the reflection of the photographer in the dog’s eyes.

JON ROSKILL: Pretty amazing.

BRETT BREWER: I’ve got to give a plug for bulldogs. I have a bulldog at home. That’s just the greatest picture, I think.

JON ROSKILL: And you know what they say about dogs and their owners, right? (Laughter.)

BRETT BREWER: But my wife does say that he’s so ugly that he’s cute. So, I don’t know. Maybe it all works out in the end.

So, the next collection that I want to show you might be familiar with, and that’s the World Cup statistics for all the different countries. I’ll give a shout out to Spain. Do we have Spain? (Cheers, applause.) Obviously the winner of the World Cup.

But we can look at some statistics that, you know, you probably wouldn’t have known otherwise. So, let’s look in here and see what are the countries that have the most goals scored in the World Cup. And, of course, we see it’s Portugal.

JON ROSKILL: Portugal and Argentina, yeah. (Cheers, applause.)

BRETT BREWER: And Argentina. (Cheers, applause.) Give it up!

Unfortunately, they didn’t get too far in the World Cup, but that tells you that scoring a lot of goals doesn’t necessarily mean success in the whole championship.

Another thing we’ll look at here is look at the world ranking, and I’ll bring it down to say only the top 10 or so.

That’s actually a pretty good indicator of who did well in the tournament. You see Spain, Amsterdam, Germany, the teams that are actually in the top three.

So, that’s kind of fun. You know, for a soccer fanatic this is kind of an interesting way to look at the statistics.

Another one I’ll show here are actually the statistics for all players in the World Cup. So, we’ll give another shout out to Spain since they won. And you can actually see all the players by their different positions. We’ll give a little bit of a shout out to Iniesta here, the guy who scored the winning goal in the World Cup. (Applause.)

And we can look at some really fun statistics like speaking of goals, who scored the most goals in the World Cup. So, we’ll come up here and see that —


BRETT BREWER: And I’ll remove this filter, because it was only for Spain.

So, now you can see who scored the most goals. And we’ll make it even a little bit higher to see who scored actually five goals. And here we see Thomas Mueller.

JON ROSKILL: Mueller, Sneijder, yeah. (Cheers, applause.)

BRETT BREWER: Of course, Thomas won the Golden Boot for scoring the most goals in the World Cup.

Let’s see some other fun statistics we can look at. Who committed the most fouls? (Laughter.) So, let’s go in here and see. Oh, I remember this guy.

JON ROSKILL: The Dutch, van Bommel, yeah.

BRETT BREWER: I remember him.

JON ROSKILL: Yeah, he should change his name to van “Pummel.”

BRETT BREWER: Exactly, yeah.

So, you can tell he was the enforcer on the team, although if you look at the other statistics, he actually suffered more fouls against him than he gave. So, maybe he’s not such a bad guy.

So, that gives you an idea of Pivot. What I wanted to talk about next is that we two weeks ago released all of what you just saw as a Silverlight control called PivotViewer.

JON ROSKILL: That anyone here can use.

BRETT BREWER: Anyone here can use.

JON ROSKILL: Very cool, very cool.

BRETT BREWER: So, a free component within Silverlight, cross-browser, cross-platform, that U.S. partners can embed in any customer Web page to get the same kind of experiences that we’ve just shown.

JON ROSKILL: But best on Internet Explorer 8, right?

BRETT BREWER: But best on Internet Explorer 8, and 9.

So, what I want to show here is this is a company called Hitched in the U.K. that took our control and they have a catalogue of all the wedding venues in the U.K., and this is a really cool way to figure out where you want to have your wedding.

So, let’s look for you here, Jon. You have a lot of friends, I’m sure, so we’re going to up the amount of —

JON ROSKILL: It’s a big wedding.

BRETT BREWER: It’s a big wedding.

JON ROSKILL: Four hundred.

BRETT BREWER: Venue type, you know, stately home, maybe a castle. How about a castle?

JON ROSKILL: A castle.

BRETT BREWER: That sounds fun.

And then, of course, you can say, you know, OK, we want to have overnight accommodations for our guests. So, we’ll kind of zoom into that.

Oh, that one looks pretty cool, Hubert Castle in Kent.

JON ROSKILL: Hubert Castle.

BRETT BREWER: And, of course, on the right-hand side then you can see all the information you’d ever want to know about that venue. It really gives you a way to narrow down into the wedding venue that you want to have your wedding at.

So, if you want to learn more about PivotViewer, the control, you can go to, and download it from there.

Hopefully what I’ve shown is that information overload is just bad design. There’s technologies like Pivot that allow you to interact with thousands of things, and do it in a fun and informative way. And I’m really looking forward to seeing the kind of wonderful collections that you partners create on top of Pivot and PivotViewer.

JON ROSKILL: Fantastic stuff, Brett. Thank you very much.

BRETT BREWER: Thank you.

JON ROSKILL: Big hand for Brett. (Applause.)

Hey, Matt.

MATT JUBELIRER: Good morning, Jon.

JON ROSKILL: How’s it going?


JON ROSKILL: OK, so we’ve got Matt over here from Microsoft FUSE Labs, and he’s going to show us something called Spindex.

MATT JUBELIRER: So, Brett was talking about information overload, and you know that every day there’s 35,000 man-years spent in social networks. So, there’s a lot of data flying around, a lot of people have Facebook accounts and Twitter accounts, and Spindex is basically here to help you get a handle on your social media activities.

So, what we’re looking at here is this is my personal Spindex account. I’m just going to apologize if any of my friends make crude jokes while we’re up here.

So, what we’re seeing is my Facebook and Twitter content all in one view, seamlessly brought together. And I can search against that view. So, I’ve got my own personal search engine up in the cloud. I’m a musician, so I might search and see what’s going on in music today. Here’s a musician, there’s some information about that, and if I click on this, it will actually pull keywords out of the tweets that I click on, and figure out what that tweet is talking about, and send that over to Bing to get more results for me.

So, a lot of people when they’re talking in social media networks are really brief, and they really abbreviate, they don’t give a lot of depth. And so what this does is use Bing to sort of round out the picture and give you more details of what’s going on.

JON ROSKILL: If there’s something interesting, it lets you go and drill in and get more info on that.

MATT JUBELIRER: Exactly. And there’s also a lot of stuff trending in social media that isn’t that interesting to me, like I’m not a Miley Cyrus fan, for example. And so what Spindex does is it will —

JON ROSKILL: You don’t have a 12-year-old daughter?

MATT JUBELIRER: No, she’s six, so not there yet.

But Spindex looks at the conversations I’m having with my friends, and looks for the most common topics that are happening there.

So, I’m a New Yorker, and so you see Steinbrenner is a trending topic for me. I work at Microsoft, et cetera. I keep an eye on the competition.

JON ROSKILL: Yeah, poor George bit the dust.

MATT JUBELIRER: It’s a sad thing.

And not only does it know that Steinbrenner is an interesting topic, but it also knows sort of what subtopic people are talking about. So, me and some friends were talking about, you know, what was the purchase price. So, I can drill in and click on that, and it will still go out to Bing and give me more results about the origins of the deal. We can see here who Steinbrenner bought the Yankees from.

JON ROSKILL: He bought the Yankees for $8.8 million.

MATT JUBELIRER: Yeah, wish I could get a piece of that.

And then I can even tweet to my friends from here. I can say, “Hi, Mom,” and send that out to Facebook and Twitter.

So, it’s really a central control panel that you can use for your social life that’s always working in the cloud, that’s built against Azure to sort of drive more intelligence out of this activity.

And one of the things we noticed with this is that often as you’re browsing, we’re starting these interesting collections and information, and sometimes you want to go and share them out with your friends.

So, we started another project called Montage. In Montage we’re working initially with editors at MSN, because we have a new service, and those guys, they’re sort of adjusting to the new world of social media where a lot of times these trends just come and go. So, they’ll have this trend that’s totally popping, and their old model of hiring a reporter and spending two weeks on, it doesn’t work anymore. So, they wanted something where they could be faster.

So, let’s imagine that I’m a reporter at MSN, and I want to get some coverage on the Steinbrenner topic. I’ve got to spell his name right first.

So, here what I’m doing is I’m just going out to Twitter and running a search there and finding all the people that are talking about Steinbrenner, and it’s already using that as my anchor content on the page. So, I just drop that into the page.

Since this is a news page, I want it to be kind of cool looking, and so I’m going to use Bing image search to also pull up some images of Steinbrenner. Then as an editor I can go and sort of select which pictures are cool, and pop those in. So, the page starts to get visual very easily.

So, contrast this with a reporter who’s going out and spending weeks. We’re not getting the depth of coverage that you would have on the subjects, but we’re getting up really fast. So, within 15 minutes we can have an interesting page up.

So, now I want to go out and use this service we’ve got called Bing Twitter Maps, and what this does is it mines Twitter data to find people who are talking about Steinbrenner, but in this case when they’re tweeting from mobile devices, it will actually pull their location out.

JON ROSKILL: So, this is live right now.

MATT JUBELIRER: This is all live. I’m completely letting it all hang out here.

JON ROSKILL: But if the partners want to use this, they can use this?

MATT JUBELIRER: So, Montage we’re developing internally initially, and then we’re going to turn this out as a user-facing surface, because we think that our end users and those 16-year-old girls —

JON ROSKILL: So, sometime within the next year or so you think?

MATT JUBELIRER: Absolutely, yeah.


MATT JUBELIRER: And Spindex is actually in private beta now, and you can trial for applications on it.

And then the last thing I’m going to do is drop in a little bit of news content. So, I’ll preview that and make sure it looks good.

So, here in five minutes I’ve built a page, a pretty cool little page, and it will keep itself updated, because it’s using social media dynamically.

But even that was not quite good enough for us. We wanted something even faster. So, I’m going to show you, there was another interesting topic during the World Cup, this creature in Germany.

JON ROSKILL: An octopus.

MATT JUBELIRER: So, here I’m just going to put in one search term and have it build the whole page for me. So, here it’s got the background image, it’s got Twitter Maps. I think there were some people tweeting about eating the octopus earlier in Germany, and posting up some pictures of the octopus, and even news down here.

So, we think this is really just a fundamental change in the way information moves around the globe, and we’re bringing out tools, and Azure is really enabling us to help respond to that fast.

Now, the last thing I’m going to show you, I showed a little bit about tweets on a map, and so we’ve got another version of that that is live today that everyone can go use, and it’s built on top of the new beta of Bing Maps, which is really cool and it’s very graphically slick. It’s built on Silverlight.


MATT JUBELIRER: It’s D.C. Here we are.

And so we’ve built a social layer on top of Bing Maps called Twitter Maps. And so I’m going to turn that on right now, and what it’s going to show us in just a moment is people tweeting all over the city right now. Here’s the Verizon Center.

JON ROSKILL: This is pretty cool. (Applause.) We can see all the people wasting time out on Twitter.

MATT JUBELIRER: Isn’t it great? Yeah. (Laughter.)

So, there are, because we are at WPC here, we’re interested in people who are talking about that specifically. So, I’m going to filter on that. And notice here we see that there are tweets right here on the Verizon Center.

JON ROSKILL: Two people going on right now. We’re going to zoom in your seats. (Laughter.)

MATT JUBELIRER: And so here not only because we’re built on Bing Maps, which is this great layer, I can zoom in and see what the Verizon Center looks like, and even better I can use our new Streetside view to drop myself in 3-D right in front of the Verizon Center, and here I can move around interactively.

JON ROSKILL: That’s pretty cool. Very cool. (Cheers, applause.) The guy is out there in the moving truck.

So, this they can get out and do right now?

MATT JUBELIRER: This is out there right now. It’s in the Bing Maps beta.

JON ROSKILL: OK. So, fantastic stuff for partners to get excited about now, and to start thinking about in the near future. Thank you very much, Matt.

MATT JUBELIRER: Thanks, Jon. (Applause.)

OK, and in our last section, we’ve Bill Buxton here from Microsoft Research, and he’s going to take us through some new ways of thinking about — (cheers, applause) — hey, it sounds like Bill’s got some fans out there. (Cheers, applause.) He’s going to take us through some new ways to think about user interface design.

BILL BUXTON: So, we’ve had lots of stuff about the cloud.


BILL BUXTON: Lots of stuff about gadgets, slates, laptops, Surface.

So, the important thing about this is that how do these two things relate, and all these gadgets are actually the windows, the cloud.

JON ROSKILL: Absolutely.

BILL BUXTON: And the experience, the view of the datasets we’ve been seeing through those windows.

So, it’s as important that we get the experience right as the data. Like we’ve got Pivots, fantastic; now how do you interact with things like this? It depends on the devices.

So, let’s just walk through where we are and where we’re going.


BILL BUXTON: So, I’ve got here just a Zune. This is a Zune HD, and I can switch from image to image just by clicking. We’re all used to that. I can zoom in by pinching, and I can drag around. These are my birch bark canoes.

And it’s all pretty cool, and certainly this is nicer than using little scroll bars on the side where we were before.


BILL BUXTON: So, you can say, well, that’s pretty natural, it’s a natural UI, whoopee-do, and we’re done. We’re not done.

JON ROSKILL: We’re not done.

BILL BUXTON: We’re not done.

So, the thing that’s interesting is that a lot of people think research is about inventing things as opposed to just picking up the gold that’s lying on the street.

JON ROSKILL: Have you guys noticed here that Bill has got an electrical cord tied to him?

BILL BUXTON: So, just to explain this, at Microsoft Research we want to really make sure our researchers are well-grounded. (Laughter.)

JON ROSKILL: All right, moving right along.

BILL BUXTON: Moving right along.

So, digital camera, big deal, right? We’re used to digital cameras. So, everybody has one of these, and the thing is that if I move it around, I can look at different things, and I can move in and out. OK, and we’ve all done that.

So, the leap —

JON ROSKILL: Similar to what you were just doing on the Zune.

BILL BUXTON: Yeah, that’s the important connection. You say, well, that’s pretty interesting. I’m panning and zooming, but I’m doing it by moving the device with the camera.

And you sort of say, well, that’s interesting. It took me a while to make the connection.

So, one of my students, a guy named George Fitzmaurice did this a long time ago, this notion of it, but the connection comes when you realize I can pan and zoom with one hand. And I can pan and zoom simultaneously, which you can’t do, you can’t pinch and pan.

JON ROSKILL: At the same time.

BILL BUXTON: At the same time.

So, I can zoom in and out. So, if you take a look at the maps you were just looking at on a mobile device how quickly you can get around. You can start thinking of it like a virtual camera.

So, what if we just took the stuff we have in the camera when we look onto the physical world, and made it work on a device that has the virtual world?

So, here again, just like you just saw in the last demo, I can just move around and look at the space this way, like you do with a camera, and I can also zoom in and out by just coming in and out as we did.

So, all of a sudden —

JON ROSKILL: Very cool, just going over the maps and taking advantage of the movement detection. (Applause.)

BILL BUXTON: Going over the maps. And by the way, it doesn’t replace the other thing, it just leverages the map and sort of says when is this the appropriate thing to do, away we go. But again it’s one hand.

So, OK, that’s kind of cool, but we can’t stop there. So, here’s another mobile phone, and now I’m going to just say, well, I can pan and zoom and get around my maps the same way I do with my photographs. I’m building on what I already know from the everyday world. What am I going to do with the other hand? Don’t want to waste that.

JON ROSKILL: Don’t want to waste that.

BILL BUXTON: So, I have a stylus. Now, here’s the thing, right? There are people who will tell you that all you need is your finger and everything should be touch.

So, my contention is this: A device without a stylus is like Chinese food without chopsticks.


BILL BUXTON: And it doesn’t mean you don’t pick up your food, but sometimes you want them both when you need them. Some things are just fine with touch, some things are just fine with a stylus. I like sometimes using them both together.

But here you can pan around, like we saw before. The same maps. We can come around the surface. But I can click through, and it’s fine.

But what I want to show is what’s going to happen here. I’m going to come and select an item, and out of it is going to come, and what I’m going to be able to do — (laughter) — is I’m going to draw on the map, speak at the same time, have it recorded, send a message to you, so that you can look over my shoulder later on, and get the playback and get directions, and at the same time e-mail that same message to your car, so that your car gets the message, and that GPS navigation system takes my voice, gives you the instructions in the car, and my route, because I’ve got the secret route better than the algo in the computer. (Cheers, applause.)

All right, now this is kind of cool, and it’s really cool when it works. (Laughter.)

JON ROSKILL: Hey, it’s research, guys!

BILL BUXTON: It’s research.

Now, here’s the fun part. All this stuff is good for small devices, but if I give you a Surface, it’s going to be kind of hard lifting it up and moving it around.

JON ROSKILL: Sure, it’s the big guy.

BILL BUXTON: It’s a big guy. You’re tough, but —


BILL BUXTON: Now here’s the fun part. What’s Surface? If you think about it, Surface is a camera and a projector underneath. So, I’ve got a camera here. Let’s get a nice shot. That’s very nice. So, here’s a piece of paper, and there you are. (Cheers, applause.)

JON ROSKILL: Mom would be happy.

BILL BUXTON: So, that is now outstanding. Now, this is a Nikon camera. You can buy this today. And I’m trying to show you how this feels.

So, Surface has a camera. This is a camera. It’s got a projector. So, if I point it this way — so let’s maybe if we can bring the lights again, we can take a look. Here we are. You’re on top, right?

So, what have I got? I’ve got a projector and a camera, and on the normal Surface you —

JON ROSKILL: You touch.

BILL BUXTON: — you touch. So, you touch now. So, you can touch your nose. Can you touch your nose? Do it the other way. How about that nose? (Laughter.)

Now, the point of getting that here is you’re going to find these projectors in your mobile phones, which makes every mobile phone a Surface that’s with you all the time. So, all of a sudden that says that this most private and personal device that’s always with you, your mobile phone, becomes a mobile Surface. You can project data onto the tablecloth wherever you need it, or the seatback table in front of you on the airplane, and it becomes the most ubiquitous technology for social computing, for face-to-face social computing.

JON ROSKILL: So, you’re expecting people are going to be able to interact in that with their hands.

BILL BUXTON: Absolutely, because every projected image is a touch screen, because the camera can see it, if it wasn’t just a camera.

JON ROSKILL: Got it. So, it’s kind of putting it all together.

BILL BUXTON: Again this isn’t where we’re going, right?

JON ROSKILL: Yeah, yeah, I got it.

BILL BUXTON: The world, it just changes.

But this is the neat thing, innovation, it’s out there, right? It’s just prospecting, finding what’s there.

JON ROSKILL: It’s day three. I’m a little slow, you know. (Laughter.)

BILL BUXTON: Yeah, well, wait until tomorrow. (Laughter.)

OK, but this is the Partner Conference, right? So, let’s talk about partners for a minute.


BILL BUXTON: So, I was in New York at the Expression launch, and a guy named Chris Bernard, who’s a partner, he works at Microsoft, one of my partners internal to Microsoft, introduced me to some folks from a company called VML. They’re a digital agency, and they’re around North America, and they have a client called Copia that are interested in e-books.

So, we met and we sort of — this is only about a month ago. So, I said, let’s try something. So, on top of Expression they built this prototype of an e-book reader, and I just want to talk about that, because there’s a lot of talk about readers and so on and so forth. And what I think is more important to talk about is reading. What do we understand about reading? Because ultimately what I’ve shown you so far are gadgets, techniques and technologies that enable, but enable what? Let’s talk about enabling reading.

So, the first thing is reading is not just soaking words off a page. It’s a social thing. You recommend a book to me. You’re my buddy. And we —

JON ROSKILL: Book clubs, all that stuff.

BILL BUXTON: All that sort of stuff.

So, if we look into here, on the screen you’ve got, first of all, right off the bat here I’ve got the books in my library that we can look at that I’m reading and so on. I’ve got, for example, here I can come in and look at my groups, my reading groups and so on and so forth around my reading activities. And we can do lots of other things like other books I’m looking for, recommendations, comments, so on and so forth.

And that’s all pretty cool, and we can come down and we can come into a particular book or a magazine or whatever, and I can pull out articles. I can take them across into my favorites list. I can leap into them and so on and so forth, and all the things that you would expect.

But now I want to do one other thing. At Microsoft Research we have these two people in Cambridge, England, Richard Harper and Abigail Sellen. They’re social scientists, and they’ve been studying reading. And it turns out that in nearly all cases if you’re not just recreational reading you have two or three other documents open. You’re taking notes. You want to do clipboards.

JON ROSKILL: So, at work or —

BILL BUXTON: I’m at work and so on and so forth.

So, a colleague, Ken Hinckley at Microsoft Research, developed this little program called InkSeine, which is basically I can just take notes on the screen by drawing, right?

So, I’ve got a note-taker here on the side, but what that means is that when I’m working through here, if I really like that photograph, because I’m an art director, I can just grab it like so, and bingo, it pops up over here, and then I can come and sort of say —

JON ROSKILL: Very cool.

BILL BUXTON: — you know, fix but use.

We can actually circle these things, search, and take all the stuff. So, while you’re reading, you can be scrapbooking, pulling things off, and it saves the citation, back links to where you got it from.

So, all of a sudden you have all integrated the ecosystem, the social ecosystem of both people, books, and appliances that let you utilize your intent, all together in the same place.

JON ROSKILL: So, ties them together in a much more usable way.

BILL BUXTON: Ties them together, absolutely.

And this is a good example where the note-taking, you need a pen, can’t finger paint. Picasso had a paint brush for a reason.

All right, let’s wrap up. Where’s it going? You saw a little bit about this little puppy. This is the Libretto. It’s from Toshiba, and it’s a little notebook.

JON ROSKILL: Very cool.

BILL BUXTON: It’s got two screens. It opens and closes like a regular book. And it’s again got the same Copia reader here. These are prototypes. This is prototype hardware, but we’ve been working on this with the VPL team. So, it’s the same thing, I’ve got the touch-enabled stuff coming here, we have information about the books and notes and so on and so forth, commentary. Oh, it’s my book.

JON ROSKILL: Doing a little plug here, Bill? (Laughter.)

BILL BUXTON: A little plug, get an autograph signed later.

So, the book comes up, and all of a sudden it’s like a book. It’s a two-page reader, and we can turn pages just like you would expect, back and forth. And we can just come in and highlight by just sweeping across areas if I want to highlight stuff. And if I want to take notes, I can just come up and I’ve got a place to take notes. And if I’ve got a little graphical keyboard, I can enter notes about what I’m doing.

And again this notion about how do we support not just something that puts words on a page, but basically respects and understands everything we know about how to read and what you do when you’re reading, activities associated with it, bring them together.

And here’s the kicker.

JON ROSKILL: It connects with everything else.

BILL BUXTON: We can only do this with partners, right? Think about this. Within Microsoft Research we’ve got people working there, we’ve got people in the Expression team, and then we’ve got our hardware partners like Toshiba, we’ve got the developers doing the content. All of this ecosystem is incredibly rich, and it’s only with that that we can get this done.

And here’s the point of why I love Microsoft and work here. This is the only ecosystem that has all of the pieces, you —

JON ROSKILL: All the folks out here.

BILL BUXTON: It’s sitting there, like this camera, an idea that every single one of you could have had. This has been on eBay since December. The gold is just sitting there. It’s our time to pick it up. Thanks a lot.

JON ROSKILL: All right, Bill. (Cheers, applause.) Bill lost his ground.

OK, so very, very fun. Thanks to Bill, thanks to Matt, thanks to Scott, thanks to Brett. Let’s give them another hand. (Applause.)

It’s a section that we know everybody, all the partners in the audience love that section. I love it. It’s great to get to be so forward-looking, not just about what Microsoft is doing, but it gives you a sense of where the industry is going, and it shows you how far we still have to go. You know, some of the things we’re seeing today are still they seem — they are cool, but there’s still so much more to come.

And that’s a good lead into the next section. There’s been this thing going on around the world, the World Cup, but there’s been another World Cup-like activity that’s been happening, which is called the Imagine Cup. And we’ve talked about it in years past. It’s something I’ve personally been pretty involved in. And the way to think about it is, it is the World Cup for programming, for students and programming. So, what I would like to do is go ahead and show you a little video about what’s been happening with that recently.

(Video segment.)

JON ROSKILL: All right. A big hand for all those students in the Imagine Cup, 350,000 students were competing in the Imagine Cup worldwide, 62 countries, 14 languages. Coming off of that, you might have gotten the subtle message there, which is they’re looking for jobs as well. So, it’s a great place to go out and tap for jobs. And we’ve got some of the students up here on stage now. So, we’ve got folks from Canada, from Italy, from Colombia, from the U.S., and so they just came up.

And you’ll notice the shirts they’re wearing, why don’t you guys turn around so that they can see  the shirts say, hire me. And they’re here. They’re talent for hire. And they’ve got things on their back that they’re excited by, what they’re going to be in the future, a future CEO. This guy here, superman, says I’m an innovator. This guy is a digital marketer. This gal says MelissaHu@Twitter. So, there you go.

Anyway, so I just wanted to highlight the Imagine Cup. It’s a great, great thing that’s going on. Let’s give all the students one round of applause here. (Applause.) Thank you for joining us.

All right. And next up we’ve got Kevin Turner, and then Bill Clinton. So, take it away.


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