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Product Contributions 2014


Office Lens
Office Lens, created by Microsoft Research and available for Windows Phone 8 and 8.1, is one of the first apps to use the new OneNote API. Using Office Lens, once a photo is taken and uploaded to OneNote, the image is stored in the cloud. OneNote’s cloud-based optical-character-recognition software turns the words in an image into editable, searchable text. Office Lens is like having a scanner in your back pocket.

Office Mix
Office Mix from Microsoft Research enables PowerPoint presentations to become interactive online lessons—using audio or video recording of a lecture, or writing in a presentation as you would at a whiteboard, and enabling quizzing and sharing.

Power BI for Office 365
Power BI for Office 365 is a self-service business-intelligence service delivered through Office 365. Complementing Excel, Power BI arms information workers with data-analysis and -visualization capabilities, enabling them to identify deeper business insights either on premises or within a trusted cloud environment.

Office Remote app
Office Remote is an application Microsoft Research built in partnership with Microsoft Office. It turns your Windows Phone into a smart remote for Microsoft Office, providing convenient, touch-based control of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents projected from your PC.

SQL Server

A Microsoft Research collaboration led to the data-access improvements of the Hekaton component of SQL Server 2014, which has implications that improve online gaming, real-time inventory analysis, stock trading, and any scenario in which data access and indexing speed is critical to a system's performance.

Technology developed during the Microsoft Research SQLVM project formed the basis of CPU and I/O performance-isolation capabilities in multitenant Microsoft Azure SQL Database, formerly called SQL Azure. The new Service Tiers and Performance Levels, made generally available in September 2014, relies on these capabilities to enforce improved performance levels. New I/O Resource Governor functionality based on this technology has shipped with SQL Server 2014.

Windows Phone

Word Flow
With Word Flow, researchers developed a novel user experience and a robust decoder to swipe through groups of characters, which enables much quicker texting capabilities for Windows Phone 8.1.

Cortana speech recognition
Microsoft Research has pioneered technologies for a virtual personal assistant, including speech recognition, semantic and natural language processing, dialogue modeling between human and machines, and spoken-language generation. This work has been included in Cortana's personal-assistant technology, available in Windows Phone 8.1.