Microsoft Hires Leading Scientist

Microsoft Corp. has hired Bill Buxton, a leading computer scientist and designer specializing in the human aspects of technology.

Microsoft Corp. has hired Bill Buxton, a leading computer scientist and designer specializing in the human aspects of technology, to work with Microsoft Research and assist on various projects the company has ongoing in its research labs around the world.

Buxton, who will hold the title of senior researcher at the Redmond, Wash., company, brings a pedigree that includes research efforts at Palo Alto Research Center Inc., Silicon Graphics Inc., Alias Wavefront (now Alias Systems Corp.), and other academic and commercial pursuits.

Buxton, a Canadian, said he has spent the last 30 years studying and observing how people use technology. He said that it has become easy to predict what the technology of the future will be, but what isnt easy is determining how people are going to use that technology.

Buxton said deciding to join Microsoft "was an easy decision" for him. "I said, Where can I go and have the biggest chance to take the ideas Ive spent 30 years on and make a difference?"

And although he said he had other offers, he chose Microsoft for a few reasons.

One was because he knew and had collaborated with key people in Microsofts research and product groups. Another was because "Microsoft is one of the few places I could go and use all of my own ideas," as many of the patents for technologies he helped create at PARC and SGI are cross-licensed by Microsoft, he said.