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. How to Build a Smart World

    By Suzanne Ross, Writer, Microsoft Research Isaac Asimov, the famous science fiction writer, had a vision of a world called Gaia. Gaia was a world that was aware of its inhabitants — it could heal them and react to them. It was a part of them. We'd have to wait a million years or so for this type of biological utopia. However, we can create a physical world that is more aware and helpful -…

    November 26th, 2004

  2. Diving in the Deep End of the Web

    By Suzanne Ross, Writer, Microsoft Research The Web is more complex than it seems on the surface. There is a hidden Web that lies below the Web that we see in our daily surfing. This hidden Web contains structured information dynamically generated by online Web databases that aren't easy to access or crawl. Researchers from Microsoft Research Asia are developing datamining techniques that they hope will make it easier to simultaneously search multiple backend databases…

    November 22nd, 2004

  3. Find Your Lost Data

    By Suzanne Ross, Writer, Microsoft Research The more data you have, the more you know The more you know, the more you forget. The more you forget, the less you know. So why have data? Microsoft Researchers have an answer for this old, slightly twisted riddle. They've put together a nifty interface that will find all the data on your PC that you need, be it email, documents, tablet notes or spreadsheets. You can find…

    November 12th, 2004

  4. How Much is Your Time Worth?

    By Suzanne Ross, Writer, Microsoft Research How would you feel if a co-worker barged into your office every few minutes to blurt out updates about their life or project? You might tell them that you are busy, but the damage has been done. You've been interrupted, and getting back on task might be difficult. Eric Horvitz and his team in the Adaptive Systems and Interaction group have been working for a number of years on…

    November 10th, 2004

  5. New Ways to Search the Web

    By Suzanne Ross, Writer, Microsoft Research Sometimes the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts. Sometimes the whole doesn't even represent its parts. Take a Web page for instance. Is all the text on a Web page a variation on the whole? Probably not. There might be weather reports mixed with tips on the newest hairdos, opinion pieces mixed with ads for whiter teeth, articles about national security mixed with links to…

    November 8th, 2004

  6. Squeeze the Screen

    By Suzanne Ross, Writer, Microsoft Research If you've never seen some of the ingenious ways that researchers have invented to make viewing data on a small screen easy, you might say, "I'll never do all my computing on a PDA or Smartphone." You might concede that it would be nice, handy even, but refuse to believe that it's practical. Patrick Baudisch is one of the researchers who could convince you otherwise. An expert in the…

    October 27th, 2004

  7. Zooming in on Small Displays

    By Suzanne Ross Bigger used to be better, but smaller is suddenly superior. The only problem with small versus big in high-tech gadgets is that our eyes weren't designed to peer at small screens on mobile phones. Even if we are under forty. Eric Horvitz, the research manager for the Adaptive Systems and Interaction group, knew that as small devices such as cell phones and PDAs became an essential part of our lives, we'd want…

    October 20th, 2004

  8. Show and Tell

    By Suzanne Ross Remember when you brought your favorite toy, household object or bug and shared it with the class on Show and Tell day? Most kids were excited about sharing anything and everything with anyone. But then we grew up and started being selective about who would share our toys. In the workplace, and at home, the computer has given us a great opportunity for collaboration and sharing. But who should we share our…

    October 19th, 2004

  9. All the News That’s Fit to Read

    By Suzanne Ross People read stories to find out what happens next. That's easy enough in a book, but if the story is about real life, and it's online in the news media, it's harder to find out what happens next. There's just too much information out there. An Internet search will show you everything on a subject, regardless of whether it's redundant information or a new twist. Then you have to filter the stories…

    October 15th, 2004

  10. First Line Worm Defense

    We don't like worms, in any incarnation. Not the crawly ones, not the human ones, not the computer ones. Especially not the computer ones. We can usually avoid the other kinds. That's why Helen Wang and her colleagues decided to design a shield that would protect us from the nasty things.

    October 13th, 2004

  11. The Life of a Digital Photo

    By Suzanne Ross History is being written in a new way. It is being written by people through the big and the small events in their lives. We write history through personal Web sites, discussion boards, and the legacy of photos, taken at moments that are important to us. Researchers at Microsoft have been working on a wide range of technologies that will help people write their personal histories through digital photography. To tell any…

    October 11th, 2004

  12. Cooperative Networking: Share the Bandwidth

    By Suzanne Ross What happens when two children decide to share a teddy bear, but then one of them changes his mind? The children will likely tear the stuffed toy in two, leaving only bear parts and crying children. A peer-to-peer streaming system can be like that bear. If you have a group of peers who are sharing the bandwidth load, and then someone decides to withdraw their share, the content stream can break up…

    October 4th, 2004