This is a little more Silicon-Valley-gossip style than I would usually post here, but I can’t resist…
Influential tech blogger Robert Scoble wrote today about some new secret Microsoft technology he saw a preview of and that had him in tears of joy:
It’s not often that I see software that really changes my world.
It’s even rarer that I see software that I know will change the world
my sons live in. […]
Yesterday was one of those days. Curtis Wong and Jonathan Fay,
researchers at Microsoft, fired up their machines and showed me
something that I can’t tell you about until February 27th. I’m sure
you’ll read about his work in the New York Times or TechCrunch, among
other places. It’s too inspiring to stay a secret for long.
While watching the demo I realized the way I look at the world was
about to change. While listening to Wong I noticed a tear running down
my face. It’s been a long while since Microsoft did something that had
an emotional impact on me like that.
Why torment you with a post like this? Because it’s my way of making
sure that stuff that really is extraordinary gets paid attention to.
And because I wanted to get down the emotional impact of what I saw
before that feeling totally wears off. I also wanted to get down some
lessons that others at Microsoft might learn from so that they can have
this kind of impact in their own work.
This is just so bizarre. This is the new journalism? If you’re not supposed to write about it then don’t write about it. Is this even a product? If it’s just something Microsoft Research has done then it’s no secret they’ve been doing all sorts of neat stuff for years, and hardly any of it makes it to real products.
For some perspective on what Scoble thinks is world-changing, it includes:
The first time I saw an Apple II in 1977. When Richard Cameron showed
me Apple’s Hypercard. Microsoft’s Excel. Aldus’ Pagemaker. And
something called Photoshop, all in his West Valley Community College
classroom. Later when I saw Marc Andreessen’s Netscape running the WWW.
ICQ and Netmeeting which laid the ground for Skype.
Sure, those are all software milestones, but world-changing?
(Insert obligatory Vista-makes-people-cry joke here.)