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Microsoft: Space Is the New Frontier in Computing

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Microsoft's Andrew Herbert says that touch and gestures will be an integral part of future computing systems.

Microsoft Research

Microsoft Research Cambridge managing director Andrew Herbert says we are moving into a client-cloud era in which space is the new frontier. He says computing reinvents itself every 10 to 15 years, with the PC, the Internet, and the Web representing those changes. Technology is now creating new ways of interacting, and devices are becoming more intelligent, according to Herbert.

"The systems are becoming much more aware of the context in which they're operating," he says. "Mobile phones know where they are. . . . [Things are] much more personalized with speech and gestures.  If you had a piece of software that could talk to you in a more humanized way, would it make a difference?"

Herbert says Microsoft Research's independence from the commercial aspects of the company allows it to pursue long-term projects that do not have an immediate impact on the company's products. He says multi-core technology is the future of computing and predicts that mobile devices will become supercomputers people can carry in their pockets.

"The dominant theme is understanding how software, the Internet, and devices are going to play together and what user experiences are going to be like," says Herbert, adding that we need to "rethink computing" in the new multi-core era.

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