Microsoft Research Blog

The Microsoft Research blog provides in-depth views and perspectives from our researchers, scientists and engineers, plus information about noteworthy events and conferences, scholarships, and fellowships designed for academic and scientific communities.

Counting every person on Earth to eradicate poverty and empower women

The number one United Nations Sustainable Development Goal is to eliminate poverty, leaving nobody behind. Researchers in the United Kingdom are harnessing the large-scale data-processing power of Microsoft Azure to map the location of every person on Earth to provide the accurate population statistics needed to achieve this international humanitarian goal. “There are about 2 billion people in the world today who are so poor that they earn less every day than the price of…

September 2017

Microsoft Research Blog

Microsoft’s Jeannette M. Wing to judge $100 million MacArthur Foundation competition

Jeannette M. Wing Photo credit: Scott Eklund/Red Box pictures Microsoft’s Jeannette M. Wing will serve as an evaluating judge for a new competition to award a $100 million grant to a single proposal designed to help solve a critical problem affecting people, places or the planet. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s competition, called 100&Change, is open to organizations working in any field, anywhere. Applicants must identify both the problem they are trying…

June 2016

Microsoft Research Blog

Pegasus II mission sends balloon high above Earth and invites you along for an Internet of Things ride

By Athima Chansanchai, Microsoft News Center Staff Matt Long and Mark Nichols have a particular affinity for balloons – but not the kind that you see at birthday parties or ride with in big baskets, or find in 80s one-hit wonders. They’re focused on the kind that can go to near space – and take thousands of people along for the ride, virtually, in a demonstration of the Internet of Things in action. “When you…

April 2016

Microsoft Research Blog

Swimming in a deluge of user generated content

The Internet is awash in user generated content (UGC)—from blogs, reviews, and Q&As, to wikis, tweets, and Facebook posts. And let’s not forget photo- and video-sharing sites: every second, one hour of video is uploaded to YouTube, and an average of more than 80 million photos get added to Instagram every day. It seems we can’t get enough of posting our own content and reading or viewing other people’s. With technological advances making it ever…

October 2015

Microsoft Research Blog

Can smartphones use less energy to browse the web?

Web browsing is one of the core applications on smartphones. After all, who hasn’t checked Facebook or watched the latest news—or amusing cat videos—on their mobile phone? However, mobile browsers on smartphones are primarily optimized for performance, not energy efficiency, so web browsing—especially the loading of web pages—tends to drain batteries and frustrate users. Recognizing this problem, Yunxin Liu, a researcher at Microsoft Research Asia, and a team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science…

September 2015

Microsoft Research Blog

From Drug Wars to 3-D Silhouettes

When violence related to Mexico’s drug war erupted in 2006, Andrés Monroy-Hernández kept in close touch with friends and relatives in the north of the country, where he is from and where much of the violence was concentrated. He soon learned that the local news media were avoiding the topic for fear of reprisals and that citizens were turning to Twitter and other social media to share information and create their own alert networks. As…

April 2014

Microsoft Research Blog

Chatting with the Author of ‘It’s Complicated’

On Feb. 25, Yale University Press released the highly anticipated new book by danah boyd, principal researcher at Microsoft Research New York City, titled It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. As one of the world’s pre-eminent authorities on social media, particularly teenagers’ social-media usage patterns, boyd now is poised to command a sizable share of the social-media spotlight herself. Why does Microsoft Research invest in studying social media? Jennifer Chayes—Microsoft distinguished engineer, managing…

February 2014

Microsoft Research Blog

Socl Offers New Ways to Be Creative

João Castelo was quick to perceive the exciting new possibilities presented by Socl, the unique social network from Microsoft Research that celebrates the creativity of its users. Committed to the expression of ideas through visually rich posts that are easy to create, collect, comment on, and share, Socl—pronounced “social”—is a free online community, created by Microsoft Research’s FUSE Labs, that bills itself as “where creativity meets.” Once Castelo, of Golegã, Portugal, learned about Socl, he…

June 2013

Microsoft Research Blog

CHI 2013: an Immersive Event

Springtime in Paris this year sees the Association for Computing Machinery’s 31st Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) in full swing from April 27 through May 2, welcoming experts and students from more than 60 countries. A large contingent of researchers from Microsoft Research will be there to exchange ideas and deliver 27 papers and 12 notes covering a broad spectrum of human-computer interaction (HCI) topics, from natural user interfaces and digital arts…

April 2013

Microsoft Research Blog

In the Mood for Social Media

By Janie Chang, Writer, Microsoft Research When an oil spill happens, are we annoyed, angry, or furious? When the jobless rate drops, are we relieved, happy, or ecstatic? If these topics are being discussed on Twitter, a new study from Microsoft Research Redmond proves that it is possible to identify our collective emotional state based on large-scale expressions of moods shared via social media. Moods are central to the expression of thoughts, ideas, and opinions.…

June 2012

Microsoft Research Blog

Microsoft Research Debuts N.Y.C. Lab

By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research In the two decades since the formation of Microsoft Research, the organization has grown from its beginnings on Microsoft’s corporate headquarters in Redmond, Wash., into a global powerhouse with 12 labs across four continents—all devoted to advancing the state of the art in computing research and contributing cutting-edge advancements to Microsoft products. Beginning May 3, that lab count increases to a baker’s dozen—with the creation of Microsoft Research…

May 2012

Microsoft Research Blog