No innovation, only death, this may be the highest law of science and technology industry. Microsoft as a veteran technology companies, before the opponent, after the pursuers. Microsoft is also clear that they want to speed up the pace of innovation. Therefore has reorganized its core R & D team, Microsoft Research Institute, CEO Satir, Satya NADELLA) also began to evaluate R & D projects, to see what can be developed into commercial products. Microsoft has done everything for one purpose: to find the next breakthrough technology, quickly become a product, to prevent Google Facebook lead.
Microsoft CEO Satir
Commands from CEO
This day, Nadella went into a Microsoft Executive Apartment, he inadvertently attracted a research and development project. At this time of Satya Nadella (Nadella Satya) has been Microsoft's CEO, he just took office less than a month. To attract Nadella's attention is a demonstration of the product in 2014, it can use speech recognition and artificial intelligence in real time to translate the dialogue between people. Satya Nadella quickly issued an order to require the team to integrate technology and Skype, because 3 months later, he was to show the product to the public.
It's not Microsoft's style! Nadella has been working in Microsoft for 24 years, he should know this, Microsoft Research Institute of the project into the product is generally very slow. Why is this so? Part of the reason lies in the structure of the company. Microsoft Research Institute and the product team is separated, the researchers can imagine the future, do not have to worry about invention do not earn money, also need not worry about product is not in line with the company's goals.
This time NADELLA broke with him under the command of the dead, leaving no time to argue to subordinates. Skype group project manager Lillian Ricken (Rincon Lilian) said: "when he ordered the next we have no formal team to develop this product." Quickly establish a group, immediately put into development, kongfu does not lose an observant and conscientious person, they eventually launched the "Skype translator (Skype translator)".
If a direct order without Nadella, the development of Skype translator will just empty talk. Skype translator has become an important sign of Microsoft, which began CEO would personally assess the laboratory project, it can evolve into a sustainable business products. It is for this reason that Microsoft's research and Development Department of restructuring, the company's other departments to adjust the work. Microsoft's goal is clear: to quickly determine the potential of technology in the hands of competitors before copying the product to the user.
Set up a new team NExT MSR
In order to break the Research Institute and other departments between barriers, September 2014 Microsoft from 1000 R & D personnel deployed about 500 people formed the new team MSR next. The new team is not a pure research organization, it is concerned about the impact of those who will have a major impact on Microsoft. At the same time, Microsoft Research Institute, the other half of the staff will be dedicated to finding new ideas for the company's products.
Recent changes not only benefit Skype, but also other products, such as Office cloud production tools, will be servers, augmented reality helmet HoloLens. Change has brought a new feature for Cortana, Microsoft is about to upgrade the digital assistant Cortana, Cortana will be able to scan the mail after obtaining the user license, you can also set the automatic reminder.
In order to control the people's digital life, Microsoft is competing with Google Facebook. Microsoft Research Institute initiated the reform is not original, its opponents have done so. Facebook application machine learning team Engineer Ahmad
War with Google AI Facebook
In Google, the researchers work closely with the product team, and their work entire firm can see. Google senior researcher Jeff Dean (Dean Jeff) said: "Google is not really independent of the Department, the staff are related to the product. Our R & D and product teams are interconnected."
In Google's search engine team or Gmail team, R & D personnel using the same tools, including the company's open source artificial intelligence framework TensorFlow. Close collaboration for the product to bring outstanding features, such as Reply Smart, it can be based on information content to provide users with e-mail reply. After nearly a year of research and development of the AI team in November 2015, Google officially launched Reply Smart. Google news spokesman Jason Fredenfels (freidenfelds Jason) also said that when the company decided to adopt Reply Smart technology in Inbox, the team spent 4 months to develop the prototype product.
Facebook is also done, it is the development of the conversation AI assistant M, 2014 research and development team has begun to begin. 2014 October Facebook: the paper, talked about the progress of project development, according to the company's plans, 2015 summer Shixin technology will through Facebook messenger tested. M Facebook research and development director Alex Lebrun (Lebrun Alex) every week with the company's top AI Research Fellow, to explore which laboratory projects can be used in life. Facebook employees can also through the Flow FBLearner tool to understand the progress of research and development, employees can view, copy, modify the source code, and then use the code in their own software. Facebook application machine learning team Engineer Ahmad
CTO Facebook Mike Skolopf (Schroepfer Mike) said that in the research and development laboratories and social networking work between the collaboration can help companies find the right talent. Last year, Skoro Pugh in the corporate headquarters of the conference said: "I can promise to all the AI developers, as long as join Facebook, and we'll make sure everyone's product is sent to 10 million users at the fastest speed. "
There is also a downside to this approach: scientists may ignore projects that do not seem to be making money. Almost all companies in the pursuit of balance, to prevent the R & D department myopia. For example, Facebook assigned some employees dedicated to long-term research and development projects, Google London DeepMind department only engaged in AI research work, do not consider the financial return.
The biggest problem: technology into the product is too slow
Microsoft's biggest problem is that when competitors develop similar products, Microsoft's own technology has not yet appeared in the product. For example, Microsoft Research Institute scientists, Turing Award for Jim gray and Jim gray in the early 1990s found the new method of modern digital drawing. 1998 Microsoft co-founder Gates in the general assembly to show the development of Gray TerraServer, the audience cheered, but then there is no below. It was not until 2005, when Google maps launched that Gates suddenly awakened, immediately ordered the subordinates to develop their own maps within 100 days.
In 1991, gates and Microsoft, the former CTO Nathan my hrvold (Nathan Myhrvold) set up Microsoft Research Institute, was once the scenery infinite Bell Labs, Xerox PARC is going downhill. Microsoft recruited from the Carnegie Mellon University Rick Laster (Rashid Rick), let him imitate the school to establish a laboratory, after the excellent talent to come in and can not be constrained to develop products. From the laboratory establishment day, Washington University computer science professor Edward Lososka (ED Lazowska) as a team consultant, he said: "Microsoft technology transform link out of the question, this is the worst thing."
Today's talent is more like the impact of the world than the independent line, it is because of this Microsoft to consider changing management style. Lo Sos C said: "the product team is now more enthusiastic, because no matter what they do fail. We want to open up to new ideas, and Microsoft Research Institute is the source of creativity."
Microsoft Research Institute Zhou Yizhen
Microsoft Research Institute, vice president of Jeannette wing, Jeannette wing) last month in a speech about the company's transformation, she said: "since we because of academic achievement and notorious. Now we attach importance to scientific achievements and the importance of influence on the company's research and development."
In order to add a new reminder to the Cortana, Microsoft senior researchers and product executives regularly meet to find the best program. Microsoft Windows Cortana Project Manager Markus Ash (Marcus ash) said that he and his team cooperation with fellow Cortana increased tracking function, the company has some people are opposed, they think that such a thing can be handed over to the user. Microsoft researcher Hollwitz (Horvitz Eric) said: how to use the Institute's good idea to strengthen the Microsoft services and products, at this point we have to consider more and more."
Change can not be achieved overnight. Alan Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (Institute for Artificial Intelligence Allen) CEO Owen Ezioni (Etzioni Oren) said that Microsoft has been adjusted well, it can begin the transition. In 2008, Ezi Ernie had sold to Microsoft, a company he had founded. Ezi Ernie also said: "you can not go to the position, it is necessary to process the."
Let CEO directly under the command does work. Skype translator behind the R & D team full forward, the development of a prototype, 2014 may NADELLA in RE / code technology summit display products, did not miss the time. "Incredibly fast," said Dendi Vikram, head of strategy at Microsoft Research Institute, said: "it's so fast, even I can't believe it."."
Today, Skype translator has to support 7 languages. Dundee's job is to assess the NExT MSR project, to see which can be suitable for the introduction of the. Now Skype team and R & D team to meet every day to discuss the next step of development.