Longtime Microsoft researcher moves to join new Azure hardware division

Microsoft Logo at Ignite
Microsoft Logo at Ignite (Image credit: Windows Central)

As Microsoft continues to see success with its cloud business, the company has set up a new Azure hardware division with a prominent Microsoft researcher heading up its operations. Doug Burger announced this week that he is taking on the role of a Technical Fellow for the new division, following a 27-year research career spent at Microsoft and the University of Texas (via Geekwire).

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It's unclear what Microsoft's focus is with this new division, but it's likely more of an organizational move. The company has a history of developing its own hardware designed to power its Azure services, and a dedicated hardware division could be intended to consolidate those efforts.

For his part, Burger was involved in designing the field-programmable gate array (FPGA) chips that Microsoft uses for specialized cloud workloads. As GeekWire points out, Burger was most recently involved in running Microsoft's Project Brainwave (opens in new tab), which is a "deep learning acceleration platform" focused on using FPGAs for machine-learning.

The formation of the new Azure hardware group follows a major internal reorganization at Microsoft, intended to focus the company more on the future of personal computing and the cloud, including work on artificial intelligence, ambient computing, and even quantum computing (opens in new tab). Though the initial reorganization was announced in March, Microsoft has continued to make more internal moves in its wake, with the most recent phase occurring in May.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • I respect Satya and his cloud vision, but I hope Andromeda isn't a cloud phone, I mean PC with cellular... Does anyone remember the Robin phone?
  • You'd better hope Andromeda sees daylight before you hope anything else. Pray🙏🏽
  • There's a petition demanding Surface Andromeda from MSFT in Change.org already. Crossed 7k signature when I last signed it a few days back. I guess WC should do an article on it. ;-)
  • Lol😂😂😂😂
    There's a petition demanding MS bring my my robe, and tea... It's got 300 signatures on it. Let's see if they care.
  • Trust me Rodney, I honestly don't expect Satya to release anything. He's made a fool out of me too many times, I don't trust anything he says period. Seeing is believing and so far I'm more seeing much.
  • And, what do you mean by "cloud phone"?
    And, what do you mean by "I mean PC with cellular"???
  • what's wrong with attaching-a-sim-slot on a pc/nb? No harm done right? It's still a pc... I see only gain.
  • That's what happens when you over think what you already over thought 4 times.
    It's called a paradox and it leads to nothing progressive. Lol
  • Netbooks with 3G SIM slots... Been there, done that, and it failed.
  • Uhhh…. Where to start. First of all, 3G.... Dial up speeds in most areas. Secondly, the specs of the "Netbooks" matched the cellular. They were extremely under powered devices, right when tablets started shipping. There was no place in the market at that point in time for that type of device. To compare a Netbook to whatever Andromeda may be is waaaaay off.
  • Hardware and their "focus the company more on the future of personal computing and the cloud, including work on artificial intelligence, ambient computing, and even quantum computing. " Hardware and focus on personal computing? What is more personal than mobile? What is more mobile than phones? Are they talking about a "focus" on android phones? Maybe Azure Phone? I guess we'll have to wait and see. Best Wishes.
  • I don't think this announcement has anything to do with mobile. Burger designs FPGA's that are currently in use in Azure. MS is just moving him from R&D to production. At least that's how it looks to me.
  • Andromeda is a bottom-up disruption strategy device. Basically it is iPod. Andromeda is a trojan to introduce ARM/WCOS into the Windows ecosystem to disrupt Win32/x86 legacy paradigm. Similar to how iPod introduced iOS and eventually led to iPhone and iPad, w/ Mac on ARM/iOS now being 2 years away.
  • 🤔