Enabling Breakthroughs

“Microsoft Research is unique as an organization and opportunity. Its dual strengths in research and application give us the chance to help shape the computer industry through beautiful, simple and transforming ideas, and to contribute directly to vibrant and exciting research fields.”

— Don Syme, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research Cambridge

By its nature, research is an incremental, step-by-step process. Innovations can take years to evolve. The impact of today’s idea might not be fully realized until years later, but the implications of any new technology can be far-reaching. This is why Microsoft researchers focus on advancing the state of the art in a broad range of areas, including many that don’t have commercial applications in today’s software. Researchers also put Microsoft innovation to work to advance other areas of science. Such efforts have included:

WorldWide Telescope. WorldWide Telescope is a collaborative effort between Microsoft Research and a variety of academic and governmental agencies, such as NASA, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and the Adler Planetarium. It is available as a free resource to the astronomy and education communities with the hope that it will inspire and empower people to explore and understand the universe as never before.

Genetic Research. Along with several other research groups, the eScience Research group is collaborating with biologists to unravel some of the gene-splicing mechanisms in higher organisms and to create an improved model of evolution. Additionally, the group is helping to analyze associations between diseases and genetic variations in humans, and working with biologists to develop languages that will better describe biological systems.