Rashid also spoke about Microsofts Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT), which will first be manifested in wristwatches that will be able to deliver useful information to users, such as calendar, stock, weather, notifications and other forms of information. The idea is "we are creating a platform for small devices that runs the kind of software for PCs but putting it in the smallest devices like wristwatches," Rashid said. In addition, Rashid showed a video on how Microsoft is working to deliver distributed wireless classrooms and Tablet PC applications.In his keynote presentation here Monday, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said Microsoft will spend about $6.8 billion on research and development this year. Read eWEEK.coms coverage of Bill Gates PDC keynote. Rashid took exception to what he called an emerging "apocalyptic view" of the computing industry. "I think were really at the beginning; weve barely scratched the surface." Microsofts research unit grew from one person, Rashid, in 1991, to more than 700 researchers today, with labs in Redmond, Wash.; San Francisco; Cambridge, England; Beijing; and Mountain View, Calif., he said. The mission of Microsoft Research is to expand the state of the art, rapidly transfer technologies into Microsoft products and ensure Microsoft products have a future, Rashid said.Discuss this in the eWEEK forum.
John SanGiovanni, Microsofts technical evangelist for university relations, showed two Tablet PC applications that were well-received by the audience of developers. One, from Brown University called MathPad, is a free-form sketching tool for marrying sketches to a math engine. The second, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology called Magic Paper, allows users to draw objects and then the system animates them.