MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Microsoft Research head Rick Rashid kicks off the TechFair eventat the company's Silicon Valley campus here Thursday by stating that the true testament of the power of Microsoft research is the fact the company as a whole has managed to outlive other firms that were founded at the beginning of the PC era.
"Microsoft is still here," Rashid said. "Virtually all of Microsoft's peer companies from that era are gone or not recognizable. Ultimately it is about survival."
One of the more popular booths at TechFest used Microsoft's Surface to show how pen and touch can combine. The demo showed how one could use a pen to interact with a photo, acting as straight edge, X-Acto knife, paint brush, and more.
Some of the projects shown at TechFair were ones that had already graduated from the research labs and made it into shipping products, such as this addition to Bing Maps that overlays street-side imagery with data from Microsoft's Worldwide Telescope.
Telephone Translator, one of the popular projects at this year's TechFest, made its way to Mountain View on Thursday. The research effort combines speech recognition, machine translation, and text-to-speech to allow people that don't speak the same language to converse with one another.