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. CHI ’11: Enhancing the Human Condition

    By Janie Chang, Writer, Microsoft Research The Association for Computing Machinery’s Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2011), being held May 7-12 in Vancouver, British Columbia, provides a showcase of the latest advances in human-computer interaction (HCI). “The ongoing challenge,” says Desney S. Tan, CHI 2011 general conference chair and senior researcher at Microsoft Research Redmond, “is to make computing more accessible by integrating technology seamlessly into our everyday tasks, to understand and…

    May 9th, 2011

  2. Software You Can See: Looking Back at the Paris Software Summit 2011

    There is a saying dating back to the days of punched cards that "the software is in the holes"—and therefore invisible. At the recent Microsoft Research Software Summit in Paris, software was anything but invisible. It was all around us and manifest in the smartphones, gadgets, and light tables, and on the huge screens that circled the beautiful foyer of Microsoft France's Le Campus conference facility. The first change that struck us was the availability of…

    April 29th, 2011

  3. Cloud Power in Europe

    There are clouds on the horizon in Brussels, and European technology leaders couldn't be happier. On March 22, Microsoft inaugurated its new Cloud and Interoperability Center (CIC) in the Belgian capital—the heart of the European Union's (EU) institutions—underscoring Microsoft's and the EU's commitment to the potential of cloud-computing innovation and growth across Europe. With a mission of promoting interoperability and collaboration to make the most of information technology, the CIC will showcase the latest cloud solutions…

    April 27th, 2011

  4. Microsoft Biology Foundation 2.0 Beta 1 Release and Coding Contest

    I am pleased to announce the release of Microsoft Biology Foundation (MBF) 2.0 beta 1, an open-source Microsoft .NET library and application programming interface for bioinformatics research. This beta provides the first significant update since MBF 1.0. Notable improvements include: Increased capacity for de novo assembly of larger and more complex species than V1 New comparative assembly functions for characteristic genetic diversity within or between species Core object model improvements for a smaller memory footprint…

    April 25th, 2011

  5. Celebrating an Out-of-This-World Earth Day

    It may seem like an unlikely way to celebrate Earth Day, but this year, students at the University of Washington (UW) can mark the occasion with an exhilarating virtual trip away from our small blue planet, thanks to a unique collaboration between Microsoft Research Redmond and the UW Planetarium.   By incorporating digital images streamed from Microsoft's Worldwide Telescope (WWT), a computer program that brings together imagery from the world's best ground- and space-based telescopes, the UW…

    April 22nd, 2011

  6. Aloha: Text from the Cloud

    Time to celebrate: we are releasing the Hawaii OCR (optical character recognition) service this week! This OCR service is the next step in the evolution of Project Hawaii, the Microsoft Research project that is exploring how to take full advantage of the cloud to enhance the use of smartphones. With Hawaii OCR, you can use your smartphone's camera to take a picture of an object that contains text (in Roman characters), send the image to…

    April 19th, 2011

  7. Kinect Audio: Preparedness Pays Off

    By Rob Knies, Senior Editor, Microsoft Research It always helps to be prepared. Just ask Ivan Tashev. A principal software architect in the Speech group at Microsoft Research Redmond, Tashev played an integral role in developing the audio technology that enabled Kinect for Xbox 360 to become the fastest-selling consumer-electronics device ever, with eight million units sold in its first 60 days on the market. Kinect represents part of Microsoft’s deep investment in natural user…

    April 14th, 2011

  8. Springtime in Paris and Software Is in the Air

    What could be better than Paris on a spring day?  How about Paris on a spring day at the inaugural Software Summit sponsored by Microsoft Research? Yes, I'm here at the Microsoft Le Campus in Issy-les-Moulineaux, just southwest of central Paris, along with more than 200 of the foremost figures in the European computer-science community.  The Summit underscores the importance of European research and innovation and brings together thought leaders from Europe's high-powered industrial research,…

    April 14th, 2011

  9. MIXing It Up: the Kinect for Windows SDK

    Back in February at TechForum, Craig Mundie, Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer, and Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB), announced that Microsoft Research and IEB would release a non-commercial Kinect for Windows software development kit this spring. Addressing a growing body of academic researchers and enthusiasts who are anxious to build applications employing Kinect's natural user interface, Mundie and Mattrick offered tantalizing promises of access to Kinect's system capabilities, including audio,…

    April 13th, 2011

  10. Windows 7 Phones Home

    These days, much is made of applications that run in the metaphorical cloud.  Well, here's an example of hardware and software that soared through the clouds, both real and metaphorical.  On March 4, the ASTRA 7, a stratospheric gas balloon carrying a mobile phone running the Windows Phone 7 operating system, was launched from the Cotswolds in west-central England.  The hardy phone made its way through the real clouds and into the stratosphere, recording and…

    April 5th, 2011

  11. WorldWide Telescope Revolutionizes Astronomy 101

    Recently, when I delivered my presentation, The Revolution in Astronomy Curricula Introduced by WorldWide Telescope (WWT), at INTED2011, I heard frequent comments from the audience that the variety of potential educational uses for WWT is "fascinating." The presentation was made possible by a collaboration between the Microsoft Research Connections' WorldWide Telescope group, the National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), and the Central China Normal University (CCNU). The successful reception of WWT at…

    April 1st, 2011

  12. Computer Science Research Tools Excite Faculty at SIGCSE

    From March 9-12, a group of Microsoft researchers had their wares on display at SIGCSE 2011, this year's annual convention of the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (ACM SIGCSE). Held in Dallas, SIGCSE 2011 attracted some 1,200 participants from all over the world, making it the year's biggest computer science education conference. The passion to develop applications is never more evident than among young people, and educators know they…

    March 30th, 2011