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.

  1. Translating the Web for the Entire World

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research People all over the world use the Internet every day, to purchase goods or services, to search for information, to find diversions. But is the World Wide Web truly worldwide? It’s difficult to make the case. Estimates claim that approximately 70 percent of Web pages today are created in the English language, while the percentage of non-English speakers is growing faster than that of English speakers. So what…

    March 5th, 2008

  2. Go Fishing for Ink with InkSeine

    Ken Hinckley always thought that searching for information on his computer was like going on a fishing expedition. Every so often, he’d even catch whatever it was he wanted. Hinckley, a senior researcher in the Adaptive Systems and Interaction group at Microsoft Research Redmond, has been netting better results than usual lately. And now he’s angling to share the secret to his success with Tablet PC users everywhere. That secret is InkSeine, an innovative new…

    February 14th, 2008

  3. Microsoft Research New England’s Focus: Research Relationships

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research On Feb. 4, Microsoft Research unveiled its latest lab, to be called Microsoft Research New England and to be based in Cambridge, Mass., in the midst of the Boston region’s bustling academic environment. Jennifer Chayes will serve as managing director of the lab, with her husband and longtime professional collaborator, Christian Borgs, as deputy managing director, though, given the nature of their relationship, the roles could prove a…

    February 4th, 2008

  4. Indian Team Applies Rigor to Solving Software Challenges

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research For Sriram Rajamani, the opportunity to work on improving software performance for Microsoft Research has been a productive, rewarding experience. And getting a chance to do so while stationed in his native India has been a rare privilege. Rajamani, a senior researcher for Microsoft Research India who heads the Rigorous Software Engineering (RSE) group, has an extensive history of making the process of software development more robust, and…

    September 12th, 2007

  5. Spec#: Producing High-Quality Software

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research Modern-day software development is notoriously challenging. Programs have become highly complex. Customer expectations have never been higher. Meeting quality standards is increasingly difficult. Challenging, yes. Difficult, perhaps. But such hurdles are not insurmountable, as Spec# demonstrates. Spec#, available for download, is a programming system devised by researchers from the Programming Languages and Methods group at Microsoft Research Redmond. The project—started by Rustan Leino, Mike Barnett, and Wolfram Schulte—attempts…

    August 14th, 2007

  6. Microsoft Research’s Dwork Wins 2007 Dijkstra Prize

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research Cynthia Dwork, a principal researcher for Microsoft Research Silicon Valley, has been honored as co-winner of the 2007 Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing. The award, one of the most prestigious in the distributed-systems discipline, was announced July 24 by the award committee of the Association of Computing Machinery’s Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC). The 2007 Dijkstra Prize was bestowed upon Dwork, Nancy Lynch, and…

    August 9th, 2007

  7. Cardelli Receives 2007 Senior Dahl-Nygaard Prize

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research Luca Cardelli, a principal researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge, has been named winner of the 2007 Senior Dahl-Nygaard Prize, presented annually to a senior researcher with outstanding career contributions. Cardelli, who heads the Programming Principles and Tools team at the Cambridge lab, was cited for his overall contribution to both theory and practice for object-oriented languages. The prize was award in Berlin on Aug. 2 during the 21st…

    August 7th, 2007

  8. Microsoft Research Cambridge Puts Visual Studio Beta on Fast Track

    With help from Microsoft Research Cambridge, Microsoft’s Developer Division will be offering an entirely new method for obtaining the latest beta of Visual Studio® 2008, Microsoft’s next-generation development tool for Windows Vista®, the 2007 Office System, and the Web. Microsoft Secure Content Distribution (MSCD), based on the Avalanche peer-to-peer (P2P) research project from Microsoft Research Cambridge’s Incubation team, will be trialed beginning July 27 for distribution of Beta 2 of Visual Studio 2008, augmenting the…

    July 26th, 2007

  9. Putting Search into Context

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research The breathtaking ascendance of Internet search over the past decade has tended to obscure the limitations of the underlying technology. So quickly has search been embraced by hundreds of millions worldwide that it is entirely natural for people to spend more time marveling over what they’ve gained rather than focusing on the potential for improvement. Luckily, though, while users revel in their unprecedented access to information, Silviu-Petru Cucerzan…

    May 23rd, 2007

  10. Web Search—With a Little Help from Your Friends

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research Who knows you better than anybody? Your friends and family, of course. Who is best-positioned to understand your wants and needs? Your closest acquaintances, naturally. Doesn’t it make sense, therefore, to take the opinions of your dearest companions into account when attempting a Web search? If you agree, count Dahlia Malkhi, Lidong Zhou, and Coby Fernandess among your friends. Malkhi and Zhou, from Microsoft Research Silicon Valley, are…

    May 15th, 2007

  11. Text-Search Tricks Speak Volumes in Image Search

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research It’s fair to assume that anyone who knows anything about the Web—anyone reading these words—is comfortably familiar with text search. It has become perhaps the pre-eminent way to extract information from the Internet, and it is extremely simple to invoke: Type a few characters into a search box, hit Go, and see what results. Simple for text, that is. It’s not quite so easy for images, which are…

    May 10th, 2007

  12. Microsoft Research Unveils Technologies to Improve the Web Experience

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research Battling search spam. Streamlining Web-page monitoring. Helping protect online privacy. Enabling the illiterate to use computers. These are just a few of the ways Microsoft Research is demonstrating its commitment to making the Internet a more secure, easily searchable, user-friendly destination for consumers worldwide. Each of those goals was featured May 8-12 during the 16th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2007), to be held at the Fairmont…

    May 8th, 2007