Feb 19

Good R+D but Bad Apps

Peterme wonders, “Microsoft devotes tons of money to research and development. But to what end?” He goes on to mention interesting IBM work like Babble that we all love to contemplate, but it seems to have not gotten anywhere. Every time I open a Lotus application at work I think the same thing. Where are those brilliant people that publish such interesting papers on collaborative work? Surely their detailed studies of user tasks in a team environment should result in great applications for communicating and sharing? Nope. Using the email client to send word docs to everyone doesn’t count. The IM client, Sametime, is a laughable johnny-come-lately with just the most basic of features. Having a dedicated research team seems like such a good idea, but there does seem to be a huge disconnect between research and production. Danyel Fisher adds some insight as to what is going on in those industrial parks. There’s something that seems a little familiar to me in his explanation that “Microsoft researchers have explained that their own time is paid for by the company out of research funds, but any developers and hardware they get need to be provided by product groups that are willing to invest.”

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