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Product Contributions 2010

The technologies featured here are just a small representation of the Microsoft Research technology transfers into Microsoft products that shipped in 2010.

Automotive Platform

  • SMS reply with speech feature
    Microsoft Research developed technology for replying to urgent SMS messages with speech while driving employing voice search research work rather than more traditional dictation methods.


  • NCBI BLAST on Windows Azure
    The eXtreme Computing Group developed NCBI BLAST on Windows Azure to enable researchers to take advantage of the scalability of the Windows Azure platform to perform analysis of vast proteomics and genomic data in the cloud. BLAST on Windows Azure is a cloud-based implementation of the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and is designed to search all available sequence databases for similarities between a protein or DNA query and known sequences.


  • Social Search
    Researchers built a shared experience between Facebook and Bing that uses data from your Facebook social circle to provide personalized search results, making the search experience more social and more relevant.
  • Academic Search
    Researchers expanded the Academic Search experience within Bing to provide instant answers for academic select queries.
  • Dictionary Talking Head  

After inventing the technology as part of their lip sync research, Microsoft researchers collaborated with the MSN group to deliver an innovative photo-realistic “talking head” video tutor feature for Bing Dictionary, making a big impact in the Asian market. Their “Mouth Model” contest, launched to find the new “Talking Head” face, went viral, resulting in over 77 million submission video views.

  • Map improvements

o StreetSlide
In order to facilitate more realistic navigation within Bing Maps, Microsoft Research generated StreetSlide, which consists of multi-perspective panoramas from street level imagery. The team also improved the ability to annotate streets with metadata information, such as business listings and user contributed content to improve the overall Bing Maps user experience.

  • Engkoo
    A technology for exploring and learning language, now powering the Bing Dictionary product in China, Engkoo is the result of Microsoft Research building one of the world's largest lexicon linking both Chinese and English together that also covers the most up-to-date terms on the Internet. Engkoo was built primarily by mining translation knowledge from billions of web pages—using the Internet to catch language in motion.


  • Xbox Kinect
    Microsoft Research played an integral role in the company’s successful introduction of Kinect for Xbox 360 to the market. For example,

Audio processing

o Voice commands

o Player identification

o Body part recognition

o Body part tracking

o Antenna advancement

o Sensor recalibration

  • Kodu
    Microsoft Research created Kodu, a new visual programming language made specifically for creating games and designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone. The programming environment runs on the Xbox, allowing rapid design iteration using only a game controller for input.
  • The Path of Go
    Based on ‘Go,’ the ancient Chinese board game, Microsoft Research created this Xbox Live Arcade game using pioneering artificial intelligence software written in Microsoft’s new functional .NET F# programming language. The game features stunning 3-D graphics, a tutorial, a story mode for teaching players how to play, Avatar integration, message play for offline games, and online matchmaking using TrueSkill.


  • Dryad and DryadLINQ
    The academic release of Dryad and DryadLINQ contains Microsoft Research’s work to provide access to a high-performance, general-purpose distributed computing engine that handles some of the most difficult aspects of cluster-based distributed computing. Dryad is an infrastructure that allows a programmer to use the resources of a computer cluster or a data center for running data-parallel programs. And DryadLINQ allows developers to implement Dryad applications in managed code by using an extended version of the LINQ programming model and API.


  • Echo howling detection
    Microsoft Researchers collaborated on a technique that prevents “echo howling” while using the audio functionality in Lync. The technology uses a user-friendly tone to detect whether multiple Lync endpoints are present simultaneously in the same room, taking appropriate action such as muting certain microphones or attenuating audio signals to prevent unpleasant feedback.
  • Bandwidth Management
    Microsoft Research contributed work on development of a bandwidth management solution for Lync using analysis of RTT to quantify intra- and inter- branch calls, administering a different bandwidth control policy for each type. Researchers also contributed analysis of the effectiveness of EF marking to deploy DiffServ and to tune and improve the diagnostic information gathered in the Lync Quality of Service database.


  • Background Removal
    Microsoft Researchers employed probabilistic reasoning techniques to create this feature that shipped in Office 2010. Background Removal allows an Office user to simply peel away the foreground of an image making it easily ready to be inserted into a new scene.
  • Chemistry Add-In for Word
    Microsoft Research Connections created the Chemistry Add-In for Word—also known as Chem4Word—to support authoring and rendering of semantically rich chemistry information in Word documents. Designed for and tested on both Microsoft Office Word 2007 and Microsoft Word 2010, Chem4Word harnesses the power of Chemical Markup Language (XML for Chemistry), making it possible not only to author chemical content in Word, but also to include the data behind those structures. Chemistry Add-In for Word and Chemical Markup Language help make chemistry documents open, readable and easily accessible to humans and other technologies.

Visual Studio

  • F# programming language
    Developed as part of an ongoing partnership between Microsoft Research and the Microsoft Developer Division, F# is a succinct, expressive, type safe, efficient functional language for .NET. F# 2.0 includes both functional and object-oriented programming.

Windows Phone 7

  • Keyboard
    Microsoft Research conceived and developed several tools and techniques that were incorporated into the design of the Windows Phone 7 soft keyboard.
  • Project Emporia
    Microsoft Research’s FUSE Labs created this web-based service that identifies relevant news stories and surfaces them categorized by topic. Users receive personalized results through voting and a crowd-based web search experience. Emporia has had over 10,000 unique users within its first week of operation.