Product Contributions 2012

Azure

Erasure Coding
Windows Azure Storage is using a novel erasure coding solution designed by researchers to obtain significant improvements in storage efficiency using a new approach to reduce storage demands over previous solutions.

 

Bing

Translation features
Researchers developed the Bing Translator Widget which evolved into a BingBar button for 40+ languages. The feature also lets people know when the BingBar can help with something being done online, like 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 (i.e., researchers) and academic papers from Microsoft Academic Search into a Bing update that emphasized ‘People’ as distinct entities in the search results.

Image Deblurring
Bing Maps’ Global Ortho program team collaborated with researchers to leverage 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 entitled “Image Deblurring using Inertial Measurement Sensors”—to improve the quality of images captured through its aerial-imaging efforts.

Foreign language relevancy
Researchers contributed a collection of technologies to improve Bing’s core search algorithms for Arabic languages.

 

Office

Bing Dictionary
In collaboration with both Bing and Office teams, researchers developed the Bing English Assistance feature—an English monolingual dictionary—that is available for English language versions of Office 2013.

Flash Fill
Leveraging interdisciplinary research experience in program synthesis technologies and machine learning, researchers created Flash Fill and collaborated with the Office 2013 team to bring to consumers in Excel 2013. The feature takes tedious tasks previously performed manually in Excel and executes them automatically.

Web Extensions
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 against their own data.

Translation features

  • Researchers delivered enhanced translation experiences with Word 2013.
  • Researchers created the Bing Translator App which enables users to take any document in places like SkyDrive, Hotmail, Outlook and SharePoint and translate it into all of the 40+ languages the Translator team supports.

 

Dynamic Transition
Originally presented at the InfoVis conference in 2007 researchers explored the effectiveness of using animation to increase productivity of information workers. One of the places this can be seen in Office 2013 is in Excel where data changes in a chart are now animated, including two-stage animation for scale and graphic changes (one of the key contributions of DynaVis). The researchers believe this work inspired a widespread effort in Office 2013 to animate “change” operations whenever possible, for example animating the cursor in Word and animating the drawing of the cell selections in Excel.

 

SharePoint

Machine Translation Services
SharePoint 2013 provides automatic machine translation of files and sites based on the work of researchers’ translation services work.

 

SQL Server

Hekaton
This new in-memory technology was developed through a collaborative effort between Microsoft Research and the SQL Server product team. Hekaton benefits SQL Server by providing a fast, main-memory database engine that can run efficiently on machines with hundreds of cores.

 

System Center

DataViz
Researchers developed tree control in the System Center Data Visualization toolkit, which was used to build the Relationship Viewer as part of the Admin Console experience. The Relationship Viewer was among the top 10 Admin Console Improvements of SCCM 2012.

 

Windows

Video stabilization
Originally appearing in a 2005 IEEE CVPR conference paper, the researchers’ novel video stabilization techniques were modified and applied to Windows Live Moviemaker to reduce hand-shake motion in videos.

Travel translation features
Researchers developed the Windows 8 Translator App, leveraging a custom travel domain to extend the novel translation capabilities to PCs and tablets.

Cliplets
Researchers created an interactive app that gives users the power to create “Cliplets”—a type of imagery that sits between stills and video, including imagery such as video textures and “cinemagraphs.” The app provides a simple, yet expressive way to mix static and dynamic elements from a video clip.

Social Graph
The Hotmail team leveraged the work of researchers using novel social graph techniques to detect and distinguish malicious versus legitimate email accounts in their efforts to combat malicious abuse on the platform.

 

Windows Phone

Bing Translation
Researchers teamed up with Windows Phone engineers to create the Translator app for Windows Phone that uses the same translation technology powering the Bing translator to provide a fast, easy and natural way to help people understand languages by translating text, audio, and video inputs. The app recognizes and translates languages spoken aloud; scanning signs, transit schedules, menus, etc., and text that is typed into the app.

Chinese handwriting recognition
Researchers contributed two engines for online handwritten Chinese character recognition for Windows Phone 8.

Blink
Researchers developed Blink using novel imaging techniques to capture a burst of images that span the moments before and after you press the shutter.