Feeds

Microsoft forms 'Special Projects' black ops team

'Disruptive technologies' tentacle to battle Google X?

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Microsoft has secretly formed a "Special Projects" sub-tentacle of its Microsoft Research limb in an apparent attempt to out-black-ops Google X.

This sinister group is "tasked with working on disruptive technologies that could benefit the company and society". Although MS is remaining tight-lipped on when it was formed and who will be seated in the black leather swivel chair where they will stroke the white cat, ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley says Norman Whitaker, former deputy director of the Information Innovation Office at US military bonkers-boffinry bureau DARPA, will have control of the button which dispatches inadequate minions into the piranha pit.

Foley claims a recent job ad for the group's "Principal Member of Technical Staff" explained it would tackle "hard and interesting problems", specifically "in the areas of systems, networking, distributed computing, UX design, devices, cloud, mobility, machine learning/artifical intelligence, big data and datacenter technologies".

This information appears to have been removed, indicating MS is keen to keep things under wraps. This is in contrast with the flamboyant Google X, which is happy to let the world know it's working on self-driving robocars, internet-disseminating balloons and other astounding technologies.

Of course, that's the stuff we're aware of, and we look forward to seeing if it's MS or Google which is the first to complete its volcanic data centre/space launch lair, from which to deploy "disruptive" orbital diamond-encrusted laser weapons against its rival. ®

Bootnote

Reader Richard Bryant says MS is probably unaware of the significance of the acronym "SPG" on this side of The Pond.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.