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 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Your Neighborhood Network

    By Suzanne Ross Almost everyone complains about the loss of connection to their neighbors. Parents don't know if it's safe to let their kids go next door, or down the street. They don't know who to borrow a cup of sugar from if they decide to bake a batch of cookies. Researchers have found that technology can actually bring people closer together, recreating the sense of community that we've lost in recent years. One of…

    September 29th, 2004

  10. Cows, Cars, and the Internet

    By Suzanne Ross What do cows and the Internet have in common? In the days when hunter-gatherers first decided to stay put and become farmers, they often stuck together in villages for protection from marauding gangsters known alternately as Huns, Vikings, Celts, or "them." As a result, cow grazing areas were limited to common lands that could be easily defended. The only problem with this scheme (now called the Tragedy of the Commons) was that…

    September 6th, 2004

  11. Rico Malvar: He Likes to Build Things

    By Suzanne Ross, Writer, Microsoft Research Rico Malvar has always liked to build things. "I used to build amplifiers when I was a kid. It wasn't a big deal, but for a young kid it was. Then I got attracted by the idea that you could put sound and video into a computer. The thought that you could bring things from real life and fiddle with them and make something new was fascinating," said Malvar.…

    June 30th, 2004

  12. Database Conference Attracts Worldwide Experts

    Paris, June 15, 2004 -- Many of the top researchers in database systems from around the world gathered in Paris, France for the SIGMOD/PODS conference last week. They met to share information about innovations to advance the state-of-the art in the field. The latest research results from several members of Microsoft Research were presented, including those from Surajit Chaudhuri, Vivek Narasayya, Nicolas Bruno, Kaushik Chakrabarti, Chris Meek, and Jim Gray. Philip Bernstein participated in a…

    June 20th, 2004