Rick Rashid, Senior Vice President at Microsoft and head of Microsoft Research, recently celebrated his twentieth anniversary at Microsoft this year. Rick was in Pittsburgh this past weekend (May 14, 2011) to deliver the commencement speech for Carnegie Mellon’s School of Science and doctoral hooding ceremonies, as well as to receive an honorary Doctor of Science & Technology degree. While here, Rick took some time to sit down with ActiveWin.com at Microsoft’s Pittsburgh offices to discuss some of his endeavors and initiatives, in addition to some of the exciting projects at Microsoft Research.
ActiveWin.com (Bob Stein): Was there an "aha" moment when you realized the potential that you had with Kinect?
Rick Rashid: For me, the “aha” moment was when I saw my two youngest children, 10 & 12, (my family was on the beta) they used it for the first time and what was interesting they weren’t just having fun playing the game and winning. They were having fun celebrating. They were jumping up and down and their character on the screen was doing exactly what they were doing. It was that realization, it was the thing that was driving the experience for them that they were physically in the game, they were able to project themselves in a very real way, and to make a connection that people have never made with computers before. And seeing that, and seeing the faces of these kids and that joy that I brought them. I thought “ok, I think we are really going to win with this.”