Lili Cheng is general manager of Microsoft’s Future Social Experiences (FUSE) Labs, which focuses on software and services that are centered on social connectivity, real-time experiences, and rich media.
Previously, she was the director of the Creative Systems Group (CSG) within Microsoft Research.
CSG developed several projects in the area of social computing and design, including Kodu, an Xbox 360 game to teach kids programming concepts; Salsa, a project that combines email and social networking concepts; and a project that rethinks how we view and share files within the operating system. Lili’s team also was responsible for Microsoft Research’s Design Expo and Social Computing Symposium.
Previously, Lili was director of user experience for Microsoft Windows, where from 2004 to 2006 she oversaw design, user research, user assistance and advanced development for Windows Vista.
Lili joined Microsoft in 1995, in the Virtual Worlds research group where she worked on social applications such as V-Chat and Comic Chat. She started the Social Computing Group within Microsoft Research in 2001, where the team built various social networking prototypes including Wallop (which spun out as a separate company in 2004), Photostory (which shipped in Windows), and the Sapphire project, an early vision for redesigning Windows.
Prior to Microsoft, Lili worked in Apple Computer’s Advanced Technology Group, on the User Interface research team, where she focused on Quicktime Conferencing and Quicktime VR.
Lili is also a registered architect; she worked in Tokyo and Los Angeles for Nihon Sekkei and Skidmore Owings and Merrill on commercial urban design and large-scale building projects. She has taught at NYU-Interactive Telecommunications as well as Harvard University.
Lili was born in Tokyo, is married with three boys, and lives in Bellevue Washington.