While most people were turning their clocks backward over the weekend, Microsoft research chief Craig Mundie was moving his forward, five to 10 years into the future, reports the Seattle Times. Mundie last year took over Bill Gates’ job guiding long-term strategy at the world’s biggest software company, a role in which he travels the globe, talking up the big computing concepts Microsoft is pursuing. Last week, Mundie put the finishing touches on a speech and set of technology demonstrations he’ll be sharing in the coming year. The road show began this week with a college tour that includes Cornell, Harvard, Illinois, and Washington universities. It’s a chance to remind students that Microsoft works on more than PC software, Zunes, and Xboxes. The visits also help in recruiting talent and give Mundie a chance to hear what’s on the minds of students and faculty. This year’s theme is solving global challenges such as climate change and the energy crisis, using the latest and emerging technologies. For instance, Mundie is demonstrating a global climate-modeling system developed by Microsoft researchers in England and at Princeton that shows how new methods of computational analysis can be combined into massive data collections…

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