The co-founder of Microsoft Corp. and a veteran of IBM and Xerox, both known for creating user-friendly computers, on Monday launched a company dedicated to inventing high-tech machines of the future.
Paul G. Allen, the multimillionaire co-founder of Microsoft and owner of the Portland Trail Blazers, planned to put up an unspecified amount of money for the venture with David E. Liddle, according to a spokesman for the men.
But few other details were released about the new Interval Research Corp., which will be based in Palo Alto and which will "perform research and advanced development in the areas of information systems, communications and computer science," according to a company statement.
"David and I have a vision of future computing that is far from anything we see today," said Allen, 39, who will be the new company's chairman. "We intend Interval to pursue that vision."
Liddle, 47, will become president and chief executive of Interval, which he said will have about 100 employees and will be funded for a period of at least 10 years.
The company plans to develop futuristic machines beyond typical computing methods--even beyond those the two men helped invent, which included on-screen graphics that make PCs easier to use.
"We will be focusing on a few assumptions about what will be happening in the late '90s," Liddle said in a telephone interview.
Liddle worked for 10 years at the Xerox Corp. research center in Palo Alto and helped launch Xerox Star--the first commercial implementation of a graphical user interface that let people use common language and graphical symbols instead of numbers to control PCs.
The Xerox products were the precursors of easy-to-use graphic interfaces developed by Apple Computer Inc. for its popular Macintosh PCs and later by Microsoft with its Windows software.
Allen started in the personal computer industry in 1975 when he and Bill Gates founded Microsoft, the leading maker of PC software. Gates remains chief of the Redmond, Wash., company. Allen left in 1983. Two years later, he founded Asymetrix Corp.