I often get hit with "Microsoft only copies the stuff that other people have already invented". Well - I think there are clear examples of our being second (or third or fourth or...) to market - but I also think we do some great original stuff out of our research centers and within the product groups. I think many of us will have seen Photosynth before - but check out this great video, the best I have seen on our work in this area:


Now tell me we don't do amazing technology... Actually I find it is very dangerous to throw out such challenges on the Internet - but I will anyway :-)

Oh - and Microsoft Surface isn't too shoddy either :-)

EDIT - in response to comments along the lines of "nah - you just bought it". Well - I have no direct contacts in this team  - but I'm pretty sure that we didn't just rush out, buy and rebadge. From my skimming it looks very much like it started out as a collaborative piece of work from Microsoft Research and the University of Washington, subsequently mixed with a spot of Sea Dragon which I believe is the acquisition people associate with Photosynth. Check out http://research.microsoft.com/IVM/PhotoTours/ for some background.