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Bill Gates Highlights Academic Collaboration as Key to Future Innovation
Showcases Research Projects, Strong Academic Partnership, Formation of Trustworthy Computing Academic Advisory Board at
REDMOND, Wash., July 29, 2002 — Today at the third annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates highlighted the technology innovation coming out of academia, and underscored the importance of Microsoft's continuing collaboration with universities and colleges. Speaking to 325 faculty researchers from leading institutions worldwide, Gates also stressed the importance of finding innovative ways to foster a safer, more private and reliable computing experience, announcing the formation of the new Trustworthy Computing Academic Advisory Board.
"Collaboration between industry and academia is crucial to deliver on our shared vision for the future of technology and education," Gates said. "Microsoft remains committed to deepening its relationship with academia, because only by working together can we create the next generation of computing technology."
Gates highlighted innovative technologies coming out of academic research built on Microsoft® .NET, such as a scalable calendar user interface called DateLens; collaborative research -- by Lancaster University and Microsoft -- on Windows® source code that has been integrated into Windows CE .NET and Windows .NET Server; and new programs and resources for professors and students, including the release of binary code for the Microsoft Conference Experience Project (called ConferenceXP), a research project designed to improve the single- and multisite classroom experience for faculty and students.
Microsoft Research University Relations created the annual faculty summit to provide another forum for the exchange of information and ideas. Academics will present their latest research projects and findings during breakout sessions, and view presentations and demonstrations from Microsoft that highlight the company's current research and products in development.
Academics Embrace Microsoft Technologies, Collaborate on Innovation
During Gates' keynote address, he and Benjamin B. Bederson, director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Maryland, demonstrated the DateLens research project, a scalable calendar interface for mobile devices that uses the .NET Compact Framework and is implemented entirely in C#. The goal of DateLens is to create one interface that uses the same source code to execute on multiple devices -- such as Pocket PC, Tablet PC and the desktop -- that have different processor types, different display resolutions and radically different interaction models.
The .NET Compact Framework, still in beta release, allowed Bederson and his team to port six months' work on DateLens from a desktop to a Pocket PC in less than a day. By using a fisheye representation of dates coupled with compact overviews and search functionality, DateLens will help users perform planning and analysis tasks, enabling them to easily navigate the calendar structure.
"After using Java for five years, I approached C# with some skepticism but have found myself pleasantly surprised," Bederson said. "C# includes many significant advances, and the .NET Compact Framework is even more impressive, allowing us to quickly port our work from the desktop to the Pocket PC and be fully running in about a week."
Lancaster University also actively uses Microsoft Windows source code to support experimental aspects of its research. The collaborative research by the department of computer science at Lancaster University, the United Kingdom's leading center for networking and distributed multimedia research, and Microsoft on Windows source code has resulted in the successful implementation of Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) into Windows CE .NET and Windows .NET Server. Originating from Lancaster's senior academics' desire to develop an alternative research platform to Linux- and UNIX-based operating systems, the project quickly grew into a valuable addition for the coming upgrade of Windows CE .NET, currently code-named "Jameson." The work done by Lancaster and Microsoft on IPv6 will be honored at the Research Faculty Summit. The Microsoft Windows Embedded Academic Excellence Award will be presented to professor Andrew Scott on behalf of the Lancaster research team.
"The prospect of porting the IPv6 stack was challenging to us, but we've been impressed, not just by the effort Microsoft put forth in ensuring that we had access to the right code and development tools, but also by how both teams have openly discussed problems and new ideas," Scott said. "The successful implementation of IPv6 clearly demonstrates the potential for rewarding innovative technology transfer from academic research into business applications."
Microsoft makes source code accessible to a variety of customers, partners, researchers, governments and academicians through the Shared Source Initiative. Through this initiative, Microsoft is increasing its outreach to the academic and research community via expanded source access, the ability to modify and distribute code for research purposes, and even, with Windows CE, the ability to incorporate shared source code into courseware without a fee. To date there are more than 100 universities with Microsoft source access and there have been more than 125,000 downloads of Windows CE .NET and Windows CE 3.0 shared source code, with over 20 percent of these downloads by professors, researchers and students.
Microsoft Announces Trustworthy Computing Academic Advisory Board
In his keynote address, Gates announced the Trustworthy Computing Academic Advisory Board, which will work to develop innovative ways to break down many of the common barriers facing the technology industry today. Extending Microsoft's existing relationships with top academic researchers, the board was created to formalize a process for Microsoft to receive critical feedback on product and policy issues around privacy, security and reliability from leading academic security research scientists worldwide, each with a significant track record in his or her field of expertise.
Technologies to Improve the Classroom Experience
In addition, Gates showed a Microsoft research project called the Conference Experience Project (ConferenceXP), a suite of research technologies designed to create highly interactive distance classrooms, vastly improving the classroom experience for faculty and students. ConferenceXP takes advantage of recent advances in technology, particularly the Internet2 Abilene network, to create a simple, flexible and extensible high-performance conferencing infrastructure for high-end collaborative environments and to provide a research platform for the development of collaborative applications. Institutions including Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, Dartmouth College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rice University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Texas and the University of Washington have been working with Microsoft to design, build and test these technologies in classroom settings for many months.
With the release today of the binary code, academic institutions can now access the ConferenceXP Research Prototype, provide feedback and submit RFPs to enhance ConferenceXP functionality from the ConferenceXP Community site at http://www.conferencexp.net/ .
The Microsoft Research Faculty Summit 2002 continues through Wednesday, July 31, with presentations, demonstrations of Microsoft and university collaborative projects, and breakout sessions on key academic computing issues such as mobility, .NET, security and shared source. On Wednesday, Microsoft Research will host the second annual .NET Technologies in the Computing Curriculum Workshop 2002 for faculty attendees. The workshop will focus on how to expose emerging Internet technologies to students across the computing curriculum, and is relevant for people who are currently using, or are interested in using, any of the .NET technologies in curriculum. More than 140 faculty members representing 80 schools plan to attend this year's workshop.
About Microsoft Research University Relations
Microsoft Research University Relations, a division of Microsoft Research, is dedicated to building world-class relationships with colleges and universities that enhance the teaching and learning experience, inspiring technological innovation and establishing Microsoft as a leading technology partner for higher education. Microsoft invests $75 million annually in support of research and education worldwide.
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