"Think Week is a Microsoft institution," works in conjunction with a Microsoft process called "Quests" that work to align the company's strategy on key topics across divisions. It’s a twice-yearly ritual, a seven-day stretch of seclusion that Bill Gates uses to ponder the future of technology and then propagate those thoughts across the Microsoft empire. One week in 1995 inspired Gates' paper, "The Internet Tidal Wave," which led Microsoft to develop its Internet browser and crush Netscape. Plans to create Microsoft's Tablet PC, build more-secure software and start an online video-game business were also catalyzed during Think Weeks. Microsoft has modified its approach to spread those big thoughts across more than 40 people. This year's Think Week is in October, but the process started with a call for submissions last week. The "Best of Think Week" papers will be officially recognized by "co-chairs" in November.
More info: Seattle Times