• Making mobile phones more useful, and addictive

    Posted by Allison Linn

    Ranveer Chandra

    Mobile phones and devices have already crossed the line from convenience to necessity, and we will likely grow even more reliant on them in the future.

    Microsoft researchers are working on a number of ways to make these gadgets both more useful and more fun.

    They'll be presenting their latest research at MobiSys 2015, an annual conference on mobile systems, applications and services that is taking place this week in Florence, Italy.

    Here's a snapshot of some of the research being presented.

  • Collaborating to improve efficiency of the cloud in the increasingly connected world of big data

    Posted by George Thomas Jr.

    NSDI 2015

    The cloud is getting crowded.

    As more and more devices connect to the Internet and more and more data flows to and from the cloud, the networking fabric once deemed sufficient to handle such traffic quickly is getting stretched.

    To address such challenges, Microsoft researchers joined collaborators from multiple universities this week at the annual USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation. Their goal: To recommend solutions that push the architectural boundaries of network services.

  • From the boardroom to the operating room: Making human-computer interaction for an era of more personal computing

    Posted by Allison Linn

    Microsoft Research at CHI 2015

    About 70 Microsoft researchers are traveling this week to ACM CHI 2015, the premiere conference on human-computer interaction, to present research results and tools that can do everything from create an interactive, 3D map of your neighborhood to simply deliver you better web search results.

    Microsoft’s researchers will be presenting papers, participating on panels, organizing the doctoral consortium and leading plenary sessions at this year’s conference.

  • Probabilistic programming goes large scale: From reducing email clutter to any machine learning task

    Posted by George Thomas Jr.

    Probabilistic programming solves inbox clutter

    How is it you seem to be spending more and more time every day sifting through and prioritizing email messages? According to research by The Radicati Group, Inc., the legitimate emails you receive — already upwards of 100 per day — will only continue to increase. So how can you stem the tide of information overload without sacrificing more of your already precious time?

    That's where probabilistic programming becomes relevant to Microsoft's efforts to enhance productivity. In what is believed to be the first large-scale commercial use of this innovative programming paradigm, a recently released feature in Office 365 called Clutter intelligently learns which emails matter most to you and sorts them accordingly, filtering those less-urgent emails into a Clutter folder and allowing users to focus on the most immediately important emails.

    Probabilistic programming solves inbox clutter

  • Cryptographer's challenge: Keeping genetic secrets while advancing genetic research

    Posted by Allison Linn

    Kristin Lauter

    Kristin Lauter is solving a problem you may not even know you have: She's working to keep your most personal data private and secure.

    We're not talking about your bank account balance or even your Social Security number. Lauter, a mathematician and cryptographer, is at the forefront of a push to make sure human genome data can be stored, accessed and used for research – without falling victim to prying eyes.