Researchers developed the Bing Translator Widget, which evolved into a Bing Bar button for more than 40 languages. The feature also notifies users when the Bing Bar can help with online tasks such as translating a word, sentence or article.
Academic Search Entities
As part of the effort to enhance Bing’s people search capabilities, researchers worked with Bing to define the user interface and deliver the data for top academic authors—researchers—and academic papers from Microsoft Academic Search into a Bing update that emphasizes people as distinct entities in the search results.
Bing Maps’ Global Ortho program team collaborated with researchers to use a novel way to correct images by measuring camera motion at the time a photo is taken—a technique originally described in 2010 in a research paper titled Image Deblurring using Inertial Measurement Sensors to improve the quality of images captured through Bing Maps’ aerial-imaging efforts.
Foreign language relevancy
Researchers contributed a collection of technologies to improve Bing’s core search algorithms for Arabic languages.
In collaboration with the Bing and Office teams, researchers developed the Bing English-assistance feature—an English monolingual dictionary—available for English-language versions of Office 2013.
Erasure Coding in Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure Storage is a cloud storage system that enables customers to store enormous amounts of data for as long as desire. Customers can access their data from anywhere, at any time, and pay only for what they use and store. To provide durability for that data and to keep the cost of storage low, the system uses erasure coding that includes Local Reconstruction Codes from Microsoft Research.
Using interdisciplinary research experience in program synthesis and machine learning, researchers created Flash Fill and collaborated with the Office 2013 team to bring this feature to consumers in Excel 2013. Flash Fill takes tedious tasks previously performed manually in Excel and executes them automatically.
Originating as the project called WebCharts, published at InfoVis 2010, researchers aided in the development of a new extension mechanism for Office 2013 that resulted in a set of embeddable apps that lets users experiment with new data visualizations using their own data.
- Researchers delivered enhanced translation experiences with Word 2013.
- Researchers created the Bing Translator app, which enables users to take any document located in places such as SkyDrive, Hotmail, Outlook and SharePoint and translate it into any of the more than 40 languages the Translator team supports.
Originally presented during InfoVis 2007, this project explored the effectiveness of using animation to increase the productivity of information workers. One of the places this can be seen in Office 2013 is in Excel, in which data changes in a chart are now animated, including two-stage animation for scale and graphical changes, one of the key contributions of DynaVis. This work inspired a widespread effort in Office 2013 to animate “change” operations whenever possible, such as for animating the cursor in Word and animating the drawing of cell selections in Excel.
Machine Translation Services
SharePoint 2013 provides automatic machine translation of files and sites based on the work of researchers’ translation-services work.
This new, in-memory technology was developed through a collaborative effort between Microsoft Research and the SQL Server product team. Hekaton bolsters SQL Server by providing a fast, main-memory database engine that can run efficiently on machines with hundreds of cores.
Researchers developed tree control in the System Center data-visualization tool kit, which was used to build the relationship viewer as part of the admin console. The relationship viewer was among the top 10 Admin Console Improvements of System Center Configuration Manager 2012.
Researchers created a Windows Phone software-development kit to enable developers to optimize their battery consumption on a Windows Phone by seeing where battery capacity is being used.
Originally appearing in a 2005 IEEE CVPR conference paper, researchers’ novel video-stabilization techniques were modified and applied to Windows Live Movie Maker to reduce hand-shake motion in videos.
Travel translation features
Researchers developed the Windows 8 Translator app, using a custom travel domain to extend novel translation capabilities to PCs and tablets.
Researchers created an interactive app that gives users the power to create “Cliplets”—a type of imagery that straddles still photography and video, including video textures and “cinemagraphs.” The app provides a simple yet expressive way to mix static and dynamic elements from a video clip.
The Hotmail team took advantage of research using novel social-graph techniques to detect and distinguish malicious versus legitimate email accounts in efforts to combat malicious abuse on the platform.
Researchers joined Windows Phone engineers to create the Translator app for Windows Phone, using the same translation technology powering the Bing Translator to provide a fast, easy, natural way to help people understand languages by translating text, audio, and video input. The app recognizes and translates languages spoken aloud; scanning items such as signs, transit schedules, and menus; and text typed into the app.
Chinese handwriting recognition
Researchers contributed two engines for online handwritten Chinese character recognition for Windows Phone 8.