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.

Researchers work to secure Azure Blockchain smart contracts with formal verification

In its young existence, the tamperproof and distributed ledger technology blockchain has already generated a lot of buzz and is being seen as disruptive, influencing approaches in such diverse areas as financial services, supply chains, and governance. To say its future is bright might be an understatement. According to Gartner, the technology is positioned to bring an added business value upward of $360 billion by 2026. One of the key drivers making blockchain-based applications programmable,…

June 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

EverCrypt cryptographic provider offers developers greater security assurances

Project Everest is a multiyear collaborative effort focused on building a verified, secure communications stack designed to improve the security of HTTPS, a key internet safeguard. This post, about the high-performance industrial-grade EverCrypt cryptographic provider, is the second in a series exploring the groundbreaking work, which is available on GitHub now. If you’re reading this blog post right now, you’re likely using HTTPS, the most popular application of the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. In…

April 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Researchers seek to simplify the complex in cloud computing

From February 26–28, researchers gathered in Boston for the 16th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI), one of the top conferences in the networking and systems field. Microsoft, a silver sponsor of the event, was represented by researchers serving on the program committee, as well as those presenting papers, including two research teams using novel abstractions to empower and better serve cloud users. “Both papers describe new ways to cope with the…

March 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Cloud computing aids researchers in solving the unsolvable in medical data labeling

It’s not uncommon for physicians to disagree about a diagnosis. That’s why people often seek a second or third opinion when faced with a serious or complex health concern. What if instead of a second opinion, hundreds of expert opinions could be collated? What if those experts were a combination of both humans and AI algorithms, as is the case in a crowdsourced version of traffic model convergence? That’s the promise of work being done…

March 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

High performance container networking

Researchers and engineers from Microsoft Research and Microsoft Azure have contributed nine scientific papers to the technical program of the 16th Annual USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation – NSDI ‘19 – to be held in Boston, Massachusetts between February 26 and February 28, 2019. Our papers cover some of the latest technologies Microsoft has developed in networked systems. While I would love to discuss all of our papers in detail, that would…

February 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Simon Peyton Jones writing with a fellow researcher at a desk

Influencing mainstream software—Applying programming language research ideas to transform spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are the world’s most widely used programming language, by several orders of magnitude. We asked ourselves whether it would be possible to apply programming language research ideas to make spreadsheets a better programming language? If we could, that would empower a huge user community to do more. One of the joys of working at Microsoft Research is the ability to directly influence mainstream software technologies – in this case, Microsoft Excel. And the Excel…

January 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Project Everest: Reaching greater heights in internet communication security

Project Everest is a multiyear collaborative effort focused on building a verified, secure communications stack designed to improve the security of HTTPS, a key internet safeguard. This post, about the verification tools and techniques the Everest team is using and developing, is the first in a series exploring the groundbreaking work, which is available on GitHub now. Wouldn’t it be great if a message you sent to your bank over the internet was guaranteed to…

January 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

The Microsoft Simple Encrypted Arithmetic Library goes open source

The Microsoft Simple Encrypted Arithmetic Library goes open source

Today we are extremely excited to announce that our Microsoft Simple Encrypted Arithmetic Library (Microsoft SEAL), an easy-to-use homomorphic encryption library developed by researchers in the Cryptography Research group at Microsoft, is open source on GitHub under an MIT License for free use. The library has already been adopted by Intel to implement the underlying cryptography functions in HE-Transformer, the homomorphic encryption back end to its neural network compiler nGraph. As we increasingly move our…

December 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

networking with a personal touch

Hyperscale cloud reliability and the art of organic collaboration

What does it take to build one of the most reliable hyperscale clouds on the planet? It clearly requires astronomical investments and a vast organization that operates at global scale in near seamless coordination. Yet the breakthroughs that fuel this story emerged organically, from a combination of innovation and mentoring relationships that grew into close friendships, and initiative taking—recognizing and seizing opportunities regardless of where they existed in an organization. We will take a look…

November 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

mobicom

Peeking into the future of mobile systems

Mobile computing and communications have transformed the world over the past decade in ways scarcely imaginable. What exciting advances does the future hold in store? The aptly named MobiCom conference, the flagship conference of Association for Computing Machinery SIGMOBILE, is the place where the research community gathers each year to discuss cutting-edge research and to peek into the future. MobiCom 2018 will be held in New Delhi – the first time in its 24-year history…

October 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

SEC 2018

10 years is an eternity in the tech world, but we are just getting started

I vividly remember October 29, 2008. I had invited colleagues from academia and industry to Building 99, home of Microsoft Research, for a daylong meeting to discuss the future of mobile and cloud computing. My friends flew to Redmond, Washington, from different parts of the world, and together in one of the conference rooms, we brainstormed ideas, using the whiteboard to design new cloud architectures, write down problems, and explore challenges. Eventually, we came up…

October 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

computer data center

Microsoft Research presents its latest advances in computer systems at OSDI 2018

Researchers from Microsoft Research will present their latest advances in computer systems at the USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation 2018 — the biennial flagship conference for systems research — October 8–10 in Carlsbad, California. These advances cover a broad spectrum of topics, as evident by the number of papers coauthored by researchers from Microsoft Research, which constitutes about a quarter of the conference’s technical program. These papers will be presented in nine…

October 2018

Microsoft Research Blog