• 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.”

  • Microsoft Research Redmond: Year in Review

    Posted by Peter Lee, managing director of Microsoft Research Redmond

    Year in Review

    The last in a series of posts from the directors of Microsoft Research’s labs worldwide, this one from Peter Lee of Microsoft Research Redmond.

    Given that this was my first full calendar year at the Redmond lab of Microsoft Research, it took quite an effort to comprehend fully the breathtaking scope of ideas and projects carried out by the lab’s more than 300 researchers and engineers. What a hoot! It’s a great pleasure now to reflect a bit on the past year.

  • BLINK … and You Won’t Miss a Thing

    Posted by Rob Knies

    BLINK logo

    You’ve no doubt experienced that sinking feeling—we all have—after taking a photo and realizing that you pressed the shutter release just a bit too late. The moment is gone, the action elusive, the opportunity squandered. It’s frustrating, but what can you do?

    What you can do is download BLINK.

    BLINK is a brand-new photo-capturing app for Windows Phone 8. The app captures a burst of images beginning before you even press the camera shutter and continuing for about a second. It doesn’t matter whether your shutter finger is a touch too early or a tad too late. Once BLINK has collected the series of images, you simply swipe your finger across the film strip at the bottom of your screen to select the best version.

  • And the Oscar Goes to …

    Posted by Rob Knies

    David Rothschild

    Last year, David Rothschild of Microsoft Research New York City used a versatile, data-driven model to predict correctly the results of the U.S. presidential election in 50 of 51 jurisdictions—the nation’s 50 states and the District of Columbia.

    Given the overwhelming accuracy—better than 98 percent—of those predictions, it’s no wonder that the work of Rothschild and a few other individuals trying to learn how to harness the value of big data gained the attention of the news media. “Some things,” wrote Steven Cherry in IEEE Spectrum, “are predictable—if you go to the people who rely on data and not their gut.”

    People, in other words, like Rothschild, who readily admits that his role is to “push the boundaries of information aggregation.”

    Now, as the next effort in his quest to make use of big data to reinvent how we think about predictions and forecasting—and, coincidentally, to make potential contributions to enable Microsoft to build better products and services—Rothschild has turned his predictive attention toward another major media event of global proportions: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 85th annual Academy Awards.

  • Gates: The Golden Age for Computer Science Is Now

    Posted by Rob Knies

    Bill Gates during Faculty Summit 2013

    Imagine that you got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ask a question to Bill Gates. What would that be? Would you ask about health care? Software? Education? Philanthropy?

    For several people, that’s exactly what happened July 15 in the opening keynotes of Microsoft Research’s 14th annual Faculty Summit, and all those topics were addressed—and more.

    More than 400 academic researchers from around the world got a rare opportunity to hear Gates, chairman of Microsoft, discuss a wide variety of topics, including all of the above, during a freewheeling session lasting more than an hour, most of which was spent answering questions from the assembled academics. He kept the audience enthralled, fielding the inquiries with thoughtful responses both illuminating and intriguing.