Microsoft Researchers try their hand at predicting the future

In 1991, former Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Nathan Myhrvold wrote a 21-page argument for more Microsoft investments in basic research and development. Founder and then-CEO Bill Gates was apparently swayed by Myhrvold’s arguments, because Microsoft Research was founded and will enjoy its 25th anniversary next year. Perhaps in preparation for the anniversary, Microsoft has been tapping into the smarts behind the Microsoft Research team–made up of over 1,000 scientists and engineers working across many different technology disciplines in research labs spanning the globe–to prognosticate about the future of technology and its impact on society. In November, the company published a free eBook anthology, “Future Visions,” written by prominent science fiction writers who gained access to Microsoft Research staff and facilities, which is available on Amazon and elsewhere. This month, Microsoft has…

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