With a few days' notice, Microsoft Research was ready for this morning's announcement that one of its own -- distributed systems pioneer Leslie Lamport -- is the 2013 A.M. Turing Award winner. The annual Association for Computing Machinery honor, which includes a $250,000 prize, is sometimes referred to as the "Nobel Prize in Computing" (there isn't an official one and here's why).
Just as the ACM announced the award winner at 9am EST Tuesday, Microsoft posted a thorough profile of Lamport, including this tribute by Bill Gates:
“This is well-deserved recognition for a remarkable scientist. As a leader in defining many of the key concepts of distributed computing that enable today’s mission-critical computer systems, Leslie has done great things not just for the field of computer science, but also in helping make the world a safer place. Countless people around the world benefit from his work without ever hearing his name. I like to think this award is also recognition of the amazing work of Microsoft Research, which has become a great home for scientists and engineers who want to tackle the industry’s most difficult challenges. Leslie is a fantastic example of what can happen when the world’s brightest minds are encouraged to push the boundaries of what’s possible.”
Plenty of Lamport's colleagues at Microsoft Research heaped on the praise as well, as seen in this video. Also speaking is Robert Taylor, director emeritus of Digital Equipment's Systems Research Center, who says: "So you like using the Internet? You owe Leslie."