• Advance Your Presentation with Your Phone

    Posted by Rob Knies

    Office Remote logo

    Making a business presentation can be daunting. Interaction with the audience might require you to change the flow of your presentation by jumping to a different section in your PowerPoint presentation. Or you might want to show supporting evidence in an Excel or Word document. Either you’ve faced these challenges or you’ve seen somebody else address them, but you know the drill.

    With Office Remote, a collaboration between Microsoft Research and the Microsoft Office engineering team, you can manage such modern presentation flows from the palm of your hand.

    “Office Remote turns your phone into a smart remote that interacts with Microsoft Office on your PC,” says Bert Van Hoof, an Office group program manager. “The app lets you control Word, Excel, and PowerPoint from across the room so you can walk around freely during presentations.”

  • Rashid on the Value of Research

    Posted by Rob Knies

    Computing in the 21st Century 2013 logo 

    Once again, for the second year in a row, Rick Rashid delivered a bravura performance during his opening keynote address of Microsoft Research Asia’s 15th Computing in the 21st Century Conference.

    Last year, during the same event, he closed his presentation by demonstrating to an awed crowd in Tianjin, China, a working example of speech-to-speech translation. Declaring that “personally, I believe this is going to make for a better world,” he left the stage to deafening applause. Some members of the audience admitted to being brought to tears.

    His talk on Nov. 1 at the Hefei (China) Grand Theatre included no comparable razzle-dazzle. It was titled The Role of Basic Research in Innovation, and it simply, engagingly delivered as advertised.

    But the keynote also represented so much more. Rashid, who founded Microsoft Research and spent 22 years as head of the organization, recently chose to return to his roots in operating systems, the realm in which he first staked his claim as one of the great computer-science minds of his era.

  • Conquering Distributed Challenges

    Posted by Rob Knies

    SOSP 2013 logo 

    Distributed computing can be a fiendishly difficult endeavor. Its benefits are manifest: Such systems pass messages across a series of computing devices connected to a network, and those devices interact efficiently to achieve results beyond the capability of any of the individual components.

    Such work, though, is not for the faint-hearted. But then, the faint-hearted don’t walk the halls of Microsoft Research Silicon Valley, which has focused on distributed computing since its founding 12 years ago. Still, many vexing hurdles remain to be cleared, and scientists from the Silicon Valley lab will be suggesting solutions to some of them during SOSP 2013, the Association for Computing Machinery’s 24th annual Symposium on Operating System Principles, being held from Nov. 3 to 6 in the scenic Laurel Highlands region in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

  • Learn How Microsoft Researchers Are Using Wearable Technology to Read Your Moods

    Posted by Kelly Berschauer

    Mary Czerwinski (left) and Asta Roseway

    You can feel the stress building—you’re on deadline, your computer has stalled to a standstill, you’re pounding keys in frustration, and your blood is boiling. You’re about to explode.

    And at that exact moment, your computer tells you to take deep breath and a walk.

    Thanks to a team of Microsoft researchers within the VIBE group (Visualization and Interaction for Business and Entertainment) within Microsoft Research, the technology that would make that intervention possible is a work in progress focusing on human-computer interaction and clinical psychology. Three years ago, the team started working in the area of affective computing: designing systems that attempt to identify your mood and react accordingly, in order to help you reflect on your own state.

  • Grudin’s Work Cited for ‘Lasting Impact’

    Posted by Rob Knies

    Jonathan Grudin

    The annual Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) conference focuses on technologies that affect groups, organizations, communities, and networks. When the folks behind the conference decided it was time to begin to honor influential papers in the field, it made sense to turn to individuals who have had a significant organizational effect.

    After careful deliberation, then, it was only fitting that they turned to Jonathan Grudin of Microsoft Research.

    In a release posted last week on the website of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Grudin was named winner of the CSCW’s first Lasting Impact Award.