After joining Microsoft in September 1991, Rashid served as director and vice president of the Microsoft Research division and was promoted to his current role in 2000. In his earlier roles, Rashid led research efforts on operating systems, networking and multiprocessors, and authored patents in such areas as data compression, networking and operating systems. He managed projects that catalyzed the development of Microsoft's interactive TV system and also directed Microsoft's first e-commerce group. Rashid was the driving force behind the creation of the team that later developed into Microsoft's Digital Media Division.
Before joining Microsoft, Rashid was professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). As a faculty member, he directed the design and implementation of several influential network operating systems and published extensively about computer vision, operating systems, network protocols and communications security. During his tenure, Rashid developed the Mach multiprocessor operating system, which has been influential in the design of modern operating systems and remains at the core of several commercial systems.
Rashid's research interests have focused on artificial intelligence, operating systems, networking and multiprocessors. He has participated in the design and implementation of the University of Rochester's Rochester Intelligent Gateway operating system, the Rochester Virtual Terminal Management System, the CMU Distributed Sensor Network Testbed, and CMU's SPICE distributed personal computing environment. He also co-developed of one of the earliest networked computer games, "Alto Trek," during the mid-1970s.
Rashid was presented with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Emanuel R. Piore Award in 2008 and inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2003. He was also inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and received the SIGOPS Hall of Fame Award in 2008. In 2009, Rashid was given the Microsoft Technical Recognition Award for exceptional career achievements. In addition, Rashid is a member of the National Science Foundation Computer Directorate Advisory Committee and a past member of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency UNIX Steering Committee and the Computer Science Network Executive Committee. He is a Trustee for the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, as well as a former chairman of the Association for Computing Machinery Software System Awards Committee.
Rashid received master of science (1977) and doctoral (1980) degrees in computer science from the University of Rochester. He graduated with honors in mathematics and comparative literature from Stanford University in 1974.
After over 22 years of leading Microsoft Research and overseeing the organization’s expansion from one to 13 labs, in July 2013 Rashid returned to his roots in operating systems and joined the leadership team of Microsoft’s Operating Systems Engineering Group.