The IEEE announced today that Richard (Rick) Rashid, senior vice president and founder of Microsoft Research, will receive the IEEE's 2008 IEEE Emanuel Piore Award, for his work in the area of personal computing, contributions to the design of modern operating systems, and for innovation and leadership in industrial research.

The award is significant recognition for both Rashid and Microsoft 17-year-old research division, which is a relative youngster compared with, say, the venerable IBM research organization. Rashid was instrumental in the development of three landmark distributed OSs: the Rochester Intelligent Gateway, Accent, and Mach. The latter was a pioneering microkernel OS, which influenced the early development of Microsoft’s Windows NT and is a direct ancestor of several versions of Unix and of the Apple Macintosh OS X operating system.

Rashid's career achievements include senior membership in the IEEE, membership in the National Academy of Engineering, serving in various computer-science faculty posts, and membership on the National Science Foundation's Computer Directorate Advisory Committee. He led the development of Microsoft’s first interactive television system and created the group that eventually became Microsoft’s Digital Media Division. He also led Microsoft’s DirectX 3D graphics efforts in the 1990s. Rashid designed and built one of the first networked video games, Alto Trek, in 1977 and Microsoft’s first online-only massive-multiplayer computer game, Allegiance, in 2000.

Rashid will receive the award on June 10 at the 45th Design Automation Conference in Anaheim, California.