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Computer Systems Research: Past and Future

Butler W Lampson ( Architect, Microsoft Corporation )
People have been inventing new ideas in computer systems for nearly four decades, usually driven by Moore's law. Many of them have been spectacularly successful: virtual memory, packet networks, objects, relational databases, and graphical user interfaces are a few examples. Other promising ideas have not worked out: capabilities, formal methods, distributed computing, and persistent objects. And the fate of some is still in doubt: parallel computing, RISC, and software reuse. The most important invention of the last decade, the World Wide Web, was not made by computer systems researchers. In the light of all this experience, I will talk about the topics that I think will be exciting to work on in the next few years.

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