Product Contributions 2006

Today Microsoft researchers touch every product that Microsoft ships through the technology transfer process. In partnership with product teams, we contribute new core technologies, provide new algorithms, develop and share code, design new user interfaces, create better developer tools, and contribute in a host of other ways. From the Answer Wizard in Office 95 to more than 75 new innovations in the 2007 Microsoft Office system and Windows Vista™, the success of this partnership continues to grow. The technologies featured here are just a small representation of the technology transfers into 2006 Microsoft products.

Windows Vista

  • Windows® Desktop Search quickly searches everything on a computer for queries and keeps search results in one place. It provides a fast, cleaner desktop search and a much richer user interface.
  • Windows Media® Photo/XML Paper Specification (XPS) is a portable document format that is more flexible than past formats. It compresses photos, produces amazing quality that is similar to film and shows digital pictures almost immediately with no lag time.
  • Windows Sidebar is a bar on the right-hand side of the Windows Vista user interface that users can customize to provide updates according to their personal interests (e.g., weather, traffic, stocks, concerts and sports scores). It puts data right at users’ fingertips and helps people stay aware of important information without being distracting or overwhelming.
  • SuperFetch predicts the next application consumers will use and stores it in cache mode so it loads quickly. This technology is always learning and making changes as needed.
  • Remote Scripting is a management tool that allows scriptable remote commands to be more securely executed over XML Web Services, using the Web services for Management (WS-Management) protocol. This allows more efficient management of data centers, and eventually of networks, buildings, infrastructure and consumer electronics.
  • IPv6. Researchers collaborated with the Windows Vista team on this new version of IP that is designed to run well on high-performance networks (e.g., Gigabit Ethernet, OC-12 and ATM) and still be efficient for low-bandwidth networks (e.g., wireless).

2007 Microsoft Office System

  • Layout engine/smart chart labels. A new algorithm for Microsoft Office Excel® addresses the problem of placing numerous labels around various chart types. Chart labels are automatically placed sensibly so they look good and don’t overlap.
  • Microsoft Office OneNote® 2007. New code allows users to search through audio and video recordings using a typed text query.
  • Ribbon influences. Researchers collaborated with the product team on development of the Ribbon in the Microsoft Office system to improve user interface features.
  • Spelling mnemonics allows users interacting with their PC via speech to say “A” as in any word that starts with that letter versus having to use the military alphabet (e.g., Alpha, Bravo and Charlie).
  • Watson. Work added to the Watson feature enables the capture of application state and the command sequence that led to the computer crash.

Windows Live™ Search

  • Automatic search spam detection algorithms enable scalable detection of low-quality Web pages that are promoted through questionable search engine optimization techniques used by spammers.

Online Service Tools and Monitoring

  • Internet data center (IDC) sensor networks enable operations personnel and managers of large IDCs to monitor and take both long-term planning and real-time corrective action based on individual rack- and machine-level data, such as power consumption, temperature, usage and other key metrics.
  • End-to-end online service monitoring is a set of tools that can be deployed individually but when deployed together can give a robust picture of service health, extending from intra-IDC status and measurements to the end-user experience. It includes advanced server log parsing, transactional and client monitoring, WAN anomaly detection, and end-user experience modeling components.
  • Operational automation is an “intelligent” system for automating operational functions and decision-making between alarm receipt and service restoration/mitigation action(s). It is an adaptive system that combines stated business rules, uncertainty logic, machine learning, and real-time conditions and dependency information to recommend the best action — even in complex and novel situations.

Visual Studio® 2005 Team System

  • Code churn measurement across multiple versions of systems. Software systems evolve over time due to changes in requirements, optimization of code, updates for security and reliability bugs, and more. Code churn, which measures the changes made to a component over a period of time, quantifies the extent of this change. These indicators can be used to help inform decisions on testing, code inspections, design rework, financial costs associated with a delayed release and more.

Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) 5.0

  • Efficient compression of low level system interaction logs and correlation. The ACT has three tools based on the compression technology: the Update Compatibility Analyzer (UCA), User Account Control Compatibility Evaluator (UACCE) and Setup Analysis Tool (SAT). The UCA helps reduce the impacts of security updates on applications, while the UACCE evaluates the effect of User Account Control in Windows Vista on applications.

Embedded WS-Management Toolkit

  • XML and Web services for microcontrollers allow microcontrollers to be managed by standard tools such as Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) even before the operating system is running.

Windows Hardware Development

  • Static Driver Verifier (SDV) is a static analysis tool designed to automatically inspect C code in a Windows driver at compile time, targeting violations of Windows Driver Model (WDM) usage rules.

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The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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