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. Troubleshooting Small Networks

    By Janie Chang, Writer, Microsoft Research If there are network tools for troubleshooting complex corporate networks, then surely there must be simpler, low-end tools to assist the home or small-business network administrator. That was Victor Bahl’s assumption when he went in search of solutions for managing his home network. But Bahl, principal researcher and manager of Microsoft Research Redmond’s Networking Research Group (NRG) was surprised to find that even though small and medium businesses (SMB)…

    January 19th, 2010

  2. Welcome to the Microsoft External Research blog

    The inspiration behind this blog is a strong desire to foster connections that lead to meaningful breakthroughs; to engage in ongoing dialog in an open forum; to discuss and debate the information and ideas critical to harnessing the power of science and technology to address the most urgent global challenges.  Every day, I have the privilege of witnessing the wonder of discovery, regardless of where it takes place, or whether it’s undertaken by academic researchers…

    December 21st, 2009

  3. Integrating Browser, Social Networks

    By Janie Chang, Writer, Microsoft Research Emre Kıcıman was online browsing the business news when he noticed a box around the name of a startup company in an article about its acquisition by an industry giant. When he moved his cursor over the box, a pop-up appeared to inform him that one of his friends now worked for the startup. Kıcıman promptly sent his friend a congratulatory message. For Kıcıman, a researcher with the Internet…

    December 17th, 2009

  4. Embracing Networking Opportunities

    By Rob Knies, Senior Writer, Microsoft Research Networks are ubiquitous in the digital age. Whether you’re at home, in your car, on your phone, or sending files halfway around the world, you’re utilizing computer networks―working with them, communicating on them, being entertained by them. They might be everywhere, but they’re far from perfect. In a myriad of ways, though, the Mobility, Networks, and Systems (MNS) group at Microsoft Research India is determined to change things…

    November 30th, 2009

  5. Nozzle: Counteracting Memory Exploits

    By Janie Chang, Writer, Microsoft Research Computer security has been described as a game of one-upmanship, an ongoing escalation of techniques as both sides attempt to find new ways to assault and protect system vulnerabilities. The most prevalent forms of incursion over the last decade have been aimed at computer memory—and of these, the newest, most popular weapon of choice for attackers is a technique known as heap spraying. Heap spraying works by allocating multiple…

    November 23rd, 2009

  6. Making Car Infotainment Simple, Natural

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research You’re steering with your left hand while your right is punching car-stereo buttons in eager search of that amazing new Lady Gaga song. Your mobile phone rings, and as you adjust your headset—hands-free, naturally—the driver in front of you slams on his brakes … Sound familiar? For drivers, such a scenario is almost commonplace. These days, the automobile is tricked out with all sorts of conveniences, designed to…

    November 4th, 2009

  7. Total Recall: How to Have It All

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research In September, pioneering computer-science researcher Gordon Bell and his Microsoft Research colleague Jim Gemmell published Total Recall: How the E-Memory Revolution Will Change Everything, a book that summarizes nearly a decade of an effort to record digitally everything in Bell’s life: What he did, what he saw, what he read, some of what he ate, what he felt—his entire life experience. The book is written in Bell’s voice,…

    October 26th, 2009

  8. Complexity Work: Simply Success

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research When Mark Braverman joined Microsoft Research New England as a postdoctoral researcher in July 2008, both he and the founders of the lab knew the move had the potential to be mutually beneficial. What they couldn’t foresee, though, is the degree to which that potential would be realized. In the autumn of 2009, the benefits of the partnership can now be assessed—and from both corners, the judgment appears…

    October 8th, 2009

  9. Exploding Software-Engineering Myths

    By Janie Chang, Writer, Microsoft Research At Microsoft Research, there are computer scientists and mathematicians who live in a world of theory and abstractions. Then there is Nachi Nagappan, who was on loan to the Windows development group for a year while building a triage system for software bugs. For Nagappan, a senior researcher at Microsoft Research Redmond with the Empirical Software Engineering Group (ESE), the ability to observe software-development processes firsthand is critical to…

    October 7th, 2009

  10. Cryptography Receives Indian Scrutiny

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research You employ cryptographic techniques on a daily basis … don’t you? Sure you do. Every time you type a password into a computer, you are practicing cryptography, using secret information to verify your identity. The same principle is invoked when you make a bid on eBay, purchase a book online, or push an ATM card into a cash machine. A decade into the 21st century, cryptographic techniques have…

    September 24th, 2009

  11. Energy-Efficiency Work Reaps Rewards

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research These days, more than ever, it’s important for computing to be energy-efficient. Particularly in data centers, energy requirements represent a significant portion of operational costs, and power and cooling needs help dictate where data centers can be located, how close to capacity they can operate, and how robust they are to failure. In part, however, this is true because computers are precision machines. They’re hard-wired that way. Ask…

    August 10th, 2009

  12. Researchers Ride the Twitter Wave

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research He rocks in the treetops all the day long, Hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and a-singin’ his song. All the little birds on Jaybird Street Love to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet … * * * When L.A. R&B singer Bobby Day took Jimmie Thomas’ lyrics to the top of the charts in the summer of 1958—a tune memorably revived in 1972 by a 13-year-old Michael Jackson—there was…

    August 6th, 2009