About Microsoft Research Asia

Microsoft Research Asia, Microsoft’s research arm in the Asia Pacific region, conducts fundamental, curiosity-driven research with the goal of realizing Microsoft’s vision of future computing. By harnessing the best talent from across Asia and the world, Microsoft Research Asia has grown from its nascent beginnings in 1998 into a world-class research lab that is constantly pushing the state of the art forward and improving the computing experience for information technology users.

Over more than a decade, Microsoft Research Asia has excelled at creating an “academic environment,” where researchers are free to pursue areas of science that are of interest to them, and that fosters a culture that looks for ways to make an impact on the world of information technology. This culture not only drives researchers to develop groundbreaking technologies and work at the cutting edge, but has also made Microsoft Research Asia a natural partner for universities and governments in the region.

In the coming years, Microsoft Research Asia will continue to enhance its capabilities and strengthen its expertise while broadening its research initiatives.

Over more than ten years, Microsoft Research Asia has grown into an organization that has filed patents for more than 1,000 technologies, has welcomed more than 3,000 interns, has awarded over 250 Microsoft fellowships, has published over 3,000 papers for top international journals and conferences, and has achieved many technological innovations.

Technologies from Microsoft Research Asia have had an influence not only within Microsoft but also on the broader community. Over 260 innovations from the lab have been transferred to Microsoft products, including Windows 7, Office 2010, Bing, Xbox Kinect, Windows Live, and many other previous Microsoft products. The lab has also issued more than 20 IP licenses to businesses around the world over the past 4 years and technologies from the lab have been adopted by international standards bodies such as MPEG4 (error-resilient video transmission), IETF (TCP/IP header compression), and ITU/ISO (video-compression technology).

During the past decade, Microsoft Research Asia has also incubated the Advanced Technology Center (2003) and the Search Technology Center (2005) in Beijing; divisions of Microsoft R&D that are helping to further the company’s position as one of the most innovative in the world.

Many of these successes are the result of an ambitious research agenda that boils down to five areas central to Microsoft’s long-term vision and strategy:

  • Natural User Interfaces enable users to interact with a computer using speech, gestures, and expressions.
  • Next-generation Multimedia allows people to search for and to be immersed in interactive online shopping, education, meeting, and entertainment activities.
  • Data-Intensive Computing explores the new infrastructures, algorithms, tools, and applications to collect, analyze, and mine results for data-intensive business in both the consumer and enterprise sectors.
  • Search and Online Ads take Web search and online advertising to the next level by applying data-mining, machine-learning, and knowledge-discovery techniques to information analysis, organization, retrieval, and visualization.
  • Fundamental Computer Science includes areas such as theoretical computer science (theory), systems, networking, and machine learning that will have an impact on multiple applications and products.

Product Partnership

Innovation Engineering Group
Researchers at Microsoft Research Asia have collaborated with product groups over the years to ship over 260 innovations in Microsoft products. The Innovation Engineering team supports these technology transfers, and fosters new product innovation, by bringing together program managers, software design engineers, user experience experts, and others to help turn ideas into reality.

Search Technology Center Asia
Microsoft Research Asia and Microsoft Bing (formerly Microsoft Live Search) partnered to form the Search Technology Center Asia (STCA) in Beijing in October 2005; STCA has since expanded to Tokyo. The Center is dedicated to advancing state of the art search technology and enabling a more intelligent online search experience.


Managing Director: Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon
Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon is managing director of Microsoft Research Asia in Beijing. He oversees the research activities at Microsoft Research Asia and the lab's collaborations with universities in Asia Pacific. Dr. Hon joined the lab in 2004 as a deputy managing director, overseeing research in areas such as Internet search, data mining, speech, natural language processing, system, wireless and networking, Internet media, and hardware. In addition to research, Dr. Hon also managed MSN Search product development in China.

Assistant Managing Director: Dr. Baining Guo
Dr. Baining Guo is a assistant managing director with Microsoft Research Asia, where he manages graphics research groups. Prior to joining Microsoft, Dr. Guo was a senior staff researcher with the Microcomputer Research Labs of Intel Corporation, located in Santa Clara, Ca.. Dr. Guo also held faculty positions at the University of Colorado, the University of Toronto, Ecole Nationale Superieure des Telecommunications in Paris, and York University in Toronto.

Assistant Managing Director: Dr. Wei-Ying Ma
As an assistant managing director based in Beijing at Microsoft Research Asia, he leads a team of talented, passionate researchers to advance the state-of-the-art in Web search and data mining. Under his leadership, the team is pushing the boundaries of current search technologies by leveraging machine learning and knowledge discovery techniques to deliver the next generation of Web search.

Assistant Managing Director: Dr. Feng Zhao
Dr. Feng Zhao is an Assistant Managing Director at Microsoft Research Asia where he oversees multiple research areas including the systems, wireless & networking, hardware computing and media communications groups.

Director of Technology Strategy: Dr. Eric Chang
Eric Chang is currently the Director of Technology Strategy of MSR Asia, where his responsibilities include research program communication, IP portfolio management, and driving new research themes.

Research Area Manager: Dr. Shipeng Li
Dr. Shipeng Li is now a principal researcher and research manager of the Media Computing group. He also serves as the research area manager coordinating the multimedia research activities at Microsoft Research Asia.

Senior Director University Relations: Lolan Song
Lolan Song started her career at Microsoft in Redmond more than ten years ago as a systems engineer. She then moved to Tokyo to cover Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Lolan was responsible for various mission-critical business application systems including sales, marketing, customer support, HR, and operations. She successfully managed a number of key projects and earned solid technical and managerial experience.

Research Area Manager: Dr. Zheng Zhang
Dr. Zheng Zhang is principle researcher and research area manager of the System and Networking Area (including System Research Group and Wireless and Networking Group) in Microsoft Research Asia.