Under a new plan, Microsoft will be pushing out new products into the marketplace that are based on projects from its Microsoft Research division. The goal is to beat rivals who might have similar projects in the works.
According to Bloomberg, Microsoft Research previously worked without much feedback or connection with the rest of the company. However, that resulted in a number of potentially interesting products that were never released to the public. That work process changed when Satya Nadella became CEO of Microsoft in 2014.
"At a Microsoft executive retreat during his first month as chief executive officer, Satya Nadella saw a research project that captured his attention. The demonstration in February 2014 used speech recognition and artificial intelligence to translate a live conversation into another language. Nadella told the team he wanted the tool combined with Skype and ready in time to show off at his first public speech three months later."
The result was Skype Translator, which has now been incorporated into the Windows desktop version of Skype. This was just the start of Nadella's changes for Microsoft Research:
"To break down the walls between its research group and the rest of the company, Microsoft reassigned about half of its more than 1,000 research staff in September 2014 to a new group called MSR NExT. Its focus is on projects with greater impact to the company rather than pure research. Meanwhile, the other half of Microsoft Research is getting pushed to find more significant ways it can contribute to the company's products."
So far, the projects that have become real-life products and services include the upcoming Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality helmet and today's announcement of adding reminders in Cortana on Windows 10 based on scanning emails for jobs that users have been given to complete.