Microsoft had the idea and could have monopolized the smartphone market if they brought the idea to final product. In 1991, they had an idea that was revolutionary and way ahead of it’s time. A product similar to modern day smartphones, complete with email and GPS capabilities. This was before Windows 95 was even a twinkle in Bill Gates eye. Nathan Myhrvold, a former Microsoft employee dishes it all out in a Men’s Journal interview worth reading.
Who knows, if this was released and refined in the 90’s, perhaps the iPhone would have never been released. Microsoft has had some amazing ideas in the past, and many of them have been scrapped into the dumpster for no apparent reason. I’ve seen some amazing things come from the Microsoft labs that just seem to disappear with no more mention.
But believe it or not, Myhrvold also wants to be taken seriously. At 53, he isn’t satisfied with going down in history as the biggest lobe in Bill Gates’ brain trust, or even as an eccentric Renaissance man with a dinosaur in his house. He wants a legacy he can call his own. And instead of focusing on one big thing, he’s hedging his bets: The lab where we’re dining isn’t just an experimental kitchen for his landmark book but a 20,000-square-foot research center for the exploration and creation of new technologies. It houses obscure inventions like “an incredibly exotic antenna that will one day revolutionize communications” and a refrigerated closet full of mosquitoes for vaccine experiments. “In fact, if you come this way,” he says, during a guided tour, “we actually have a system where we can shoot mosquitoes out of the sky with lasers.”