Microsoft researchers explore using computer science to help ‘solve’ cancer

Sketch of a man's face with a microscope in front of it

At Microsoft’s research labs around the world, computer scientists, programmers, engineers and other experts are trying to crack some of the computer industry’s toughest problems, from system design and security to quantum computing and data visualization. A subset of those scientists, engineers and programmers have a different goal: They’re trying to use computer science to solve one of the most complex and deadly challenges humans face: cancer. “We’re in a … Read more »

How indie game creators are leveling up creativity at Xbox

Katie Stone Perez sits on a sofa surrounded by mementos in her office on Microsoft's Redmond campus

Katie Stone Perez brims over with excitement when talking about Xbox games. All Xbox games. Today the senior program manager for Microsoft’s independent developer program, ID@Xbox, is particularly enthused about “The Hole Story,” a new game about a budding young archaeologist named Wendy who digs in her backyard and discovers a portal to a strange land. The game, written and prototyped by a group of high school students, was selected … Read more »

How London startup SAM Labs is making the Internet of Things into everybody’s thing

SAM Labs

There are some 10 billion hardware devices connected to the Internet today. By 2020, this Internet of Things will power over 50 billion connected cars, dog collars, toothbrushes and pretty much anything else you can imagine. But while it’s now easier than ever for people to use or even create new software, innovative hardware design has remained a distant frontier, accessible only to trained engineers and the most diehard of … Read more »

Microsoft’s inspired new workspaces boost creativity and collaboration

An open collaboration space in Microsoft's Building 16 in Redmond, Washington.

Buildings 16 and 17 are two of the biggest at Microsoft headquarters – sturdy, brick-and-glass tributes to the practical 1980s, when the company was focused more on manifesting Bill Gates’ vision to put a computer on every desk and in every home than on the architectural prowess of its campus. Inside, however, is a different story. There is light, air and art. There are new, retooled work spaces and vibrant … Read more »

Microsoft hiring program opens more doors to people with autism

Kyle Schwaneke came to Microsoft through a unique hiring program for candidates with autism.

Kyle Schwaneke’s bank account was approaching empty. He’d been unemployed for a year and a half, since the indie game studio he’d been working for shut its doors. His parents, looking for ways to help while he job hunted, had paid the remainder of his apartment lease, but he’d reached the end of that, too. “I interviewed at a bunch of companies, but really didn’t have any luck. Sometimes, I … Read more »

How rising star Vidya Srinivasan launched her career at Microsoft

Vidya Hero

In 2010, Vidya Srinivasan canceled Christmas. A computer science graduate student at North Carolina State University by way of Chennai, India, she had scored an unexpected internship interview with Microsoft in Seattle. “I canceled my vacation,” she said. “I reached out to all the Microsoft connections I could possibly find. I spent my Christmas with books, because I really wanted to nail that interview.” And she did. Three years into … Read more »

Inclusive design isn’t just polite – it’s also good business, says devices exec Christina Chen

Sometimes, serving others can be a wonderfully self-serving experience. Take Christina Chen, a fast-rising star at Microsoft who was recently named by Business Insider as one of the “most powerful women engineers in the world.” She began her “education” young, working in her parents’ restaurant, where she first formed the customer-centric mindset that has taken her from appetizers to app development. “I started out cleaning tables,” she said recently, discussing … Read more »

Explore Hugh MacLeod’s illustrated guide to life inside Microsoft

Hugh MacLeod in Seattle, Washington

Drawing for me is a way of processing thoughts,” said cartoonist Hugh MacLeod. “I use lines to join the dots in my mind.” Those dots he refers to cut to the core of office environments. They help capture, within a drawing, the essence of a company’s aspirations. It’s “motivational art that doesn’t suck,” or so says his company’s website. Prescriptive and inspiring is what pops into my head. You kind … Read more »

Smash tests, fire suits and indoor tornados: How UL’s controlled mayhem makes the world safer

Bob Jamieson in UL's “rain room,” where waterproof products are tested.

The Muppets have Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, and UL has John Drengenberg. “Never put foil in a microwave,” Drengenberg said as he picked up a large, crumpled section of tinfoil and placed it in a white microwave. He set the timer for five minutes and hit start, triggering an impressive light show and sci-fi sound effects that made my fillings tingle. Still, my inner eighth grader leaned forward, wide-eyed. Looking up from … Read more »

The ultimate wingmen: A day in the life of four Microsoft administrative professionals

Ultimate Wingmen Graphic

They eat chaos for breakfast. They routinely make the impossible possible. They are the steely scaffolding of companies the world over, including Microsoft. They’re the ultimate wingmen. They’re … administrative assistants. “People don’t realize what all admins do. So much of it goes on behind the scenes, which is as it should be,” said Scott Roberts, executive assistant to Microsoft marketing executive Allison Watson. “The thing is, if people don’t … Read more »