Making Software Easier and More Fun with Social Interfaces

Karen Fries, Microsoft

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University January 24, 1997


My talk will cover...


As a program manager in Microsoft's Research Division, Karen Fries explores applications of social interface. In her previous life, she launched Microsoft Bob, a program aimed at making home computing easier and more fun. With her partner, Barry Linnett, Fries conceived the idea and followed it from beginning to end, when it was announced by Bill Gates at CES in January of 1995. Working with animators, artists, development teams, and testing groups, Fries ensured all pieces of the product came together and got to market.

Fries joined Microsoft in June 1987 -- for the last seven years, her focus and passion has been on new designs that make using computers easier. Also working with Barry Linnett, she designed Microsoft Publisher 1.0 which launched in 1991. Publisher was the first product to have wizards. Prior to working at Microsoft, Fries attended the University of Washington in Seattle where she received degrees in business and psychology.


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