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. New Area in Microsoft Research: Looking for a RiSE in Developer Productivity

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research In the summer of 2008, the leadership at Microsoft Research Redmond reorganized an existing set of research groups with a refreshed, more encompassing mandate: reinventing all aspects of software development. The revamped area, Research in Software Engineering (RiSE), headed by Wolfram Schulte, includes a diverse set of topics such as experimental software engineering, human interactions in programming, software reliability, programming-language design and implementation, and theorem proving. He recently…

    December 28th, 2008

  2. Microsoft Research Asia’s Guo Discusses the Future of Graphics

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research Microsoft Research Asia, celebrating its 10th anniversary, recently presented its annual Computing in the 21st Century academic symposium, held over two days, Nov. 4 in Beijing and Nov. 7 in Singapore. For the second consecutive year, Baining Guo, assistant managing director of the lab, served as chair of the event. “We’re very excited,” Guo said of the anniversary festivities. “It’s a big celebration.” The morning after the Singapore…

    December 11th, 2008

  3. Dryad: Programming the Datacenter

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research Concurrent programming is demanding. While part of a program is modifying data, the other parts must be prevented from doing likewise. Manually organizing such tasks is challenging for the most adept experts. People have been trying for decades to make it easier. Concurrent programming is in demand. More programs are communicating with Web services. Fundamental limitations in physics are dictating a move to multicore chips that enable many…

    October 27th, 2008

  4. Innovation Inquiries: The Birth of a Research Lab

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research Since Microsoft Research New England was announced on Feb. 4, Jennifer Chayes, managing director of the lab, based in Cambridge, Mass., has been hard at work along with her deputy managing director, Christian Borgs. Chayes and Borgs moved east from Redmond facing a prodigious challenge: Offices had to be planned and prepared, relationships with the Boston-area academic community had to be forged, and researchers and associates had to…

    September 22nd, 2008

  5. AutoCollage: Summarize Your Adventures with a Click

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research You’ve got photos—lots and lots of photos. Everybody does these days, thanks to the digital-photography revolution. Hundreds, thousands, a veritable treasure trove of image-based memories. Sometimes, though, you don’t need thousands of photos. Sometimes, you just need that one representative shot to convey the fun you had during your day at the beach. But which one? The kids frolicking in their new swimsuits? The adults soaking in some…

    September 4th, 2008

  6. Collabio Game Explores Social-Network Data Mining…And Social Psychology

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research What’s the most powerful, untapped information repository on the Web today? If you said Wikipedia, please go stand in the corner. Actually, it’s people, the billion or so of you who are tapping your keyboards and clicking your mice right now. Increasingly, researchers are getting curious about the power of people’s knowledge, and how social networks can potentially be used to tap into that vast reservoir. This summer,…

    August 20th, 2008

  7. Tweaking Channel Widths to Improve Wireless Communication

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research We’ve been spoiled. In this age of virtually instantaneous communication, we have developed a thirst for immediate access to information. Waiting is a pain in the Internet age. Soon is not sufficient; we need it now. Researchers from Microsoft Research Redmond are doing their best to comply. A Case for Adapting Channel Width in Wireless Networks, co-written by Ranveer Chandra, Ratul Mahajan, Thomas Moscibroda, and Paramvir Bahl of…

    August 19th, 2008

  8. Using Repeated Image Content to Render Photos More Efficiently

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research In these days of nearly ubiquitous access to digital cameras, and the consequent explosion of images available via the Internet, it has become more important than ever to find ways to render those images efficiently. Unfortunately, the complex nature of digital imagery consumes prodigious amounts of bandwidth and memory. How can resources be utilized efficiently while maintaining a high level of quality in coping with the deluge of…

    August 11th, 2008

  9. Exploring Ways to Make Search Better than Ever

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research Considering the ubiquitous use of search engines to guide users through the Internet, one might be excused for thinking that search functionality has been perfected and there is nothing yet to refine. Far from it. Consider a few potential improvements to today’s search engines—and the striking benefits that could result: The ability to perform location searches across different languages: What if you could search in English for an…

    July 18th, 2008

  10. Is Your Group Seeking Information? SearchTogether!

    By Rob Knies That long-awaited vacation is almost here—just you, your spouse, and your teenage son, all eager to embark on a leisurely adventure to sunny climes for some much-needed R&R. But your planning has not kept pace with your anticipation. There is work to be done: hotels to book, flights to schedule, activities to consider. You need to research and collaborate to reach a decision. Time is growing short, though. How will it all…

    June 4th, 2008

  11. Mashup Developers Get Chance to Romp in Sandbox

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research Mashups have become one of the hallmarks of the Web 2.0 era. The practice of combining two sets of related yet disparate data from unrelated sources in one user-friendly, information-intensive collection has become commonplace in the past few years. Every day, millions of Internet users turn to such compelling creations for insights heretofore inaccessible—or decide to create one of their own. Such imaginative concoctions, however, strain the very…

    April 21st, 2008

  12. Ensuring That Human Values Play a Central Role in Our Digital Future

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research On March 15-16, 2007, a forum entitled HCI 2020: Human Values in a Digital Age, was held in Sanlúcar la Mayor, Spain, just outside Seville. Its purpose was to gather luminaries in computing, design, social sciences, and philosophy of science to formulate an agenda for human-computer interaction (HCI) over the next decade and beyond. The event—facilitated by Microsoft and convened by Richard Harper and Abigail Sellen of Microsoft…

    April 2nd, 2008