Microsoft might be up to something. It has set up a new department it calls Special Projects. And it's hired an ex-Darpa head to make sure everything is cutting edge. Microsoft's Research department has hired former deputy director of the information innovation office at Darpa, Norman Whitaker.
So far, it has come up with some interesting stuff, first there is new keyboard that can detect gestures and could kill off the mouse. However, Whitaker is better known at Darpa as a robot specialist which might an area where Redmond might head. According to a recent job posting specific areas that will be worked on by the department include systems, networking, distributed computing, UX design, devices, cloud, mobility, machine learning/artificial intelligence, big data and datacentre technologies.
Of course, Microsoft has come up with some pretty good ideas in the past, but totally failed to make them work. The best one was the tablet which failed to attract anyone’s interest, until Steve Jobs pretended he invented it and then it sold by the sackload. Microsoft famously also misses the more important technology trends and has to catch up. It failed to see the Internet would amount to much and ran down its mobile unit because the days of the PDF were gone.