PhotoSynth 1.0 Avaliable for Download

Remembered the dazzling PhotoSynth 3D-demo of St Mark’s Basilica and the NASA?  Imagine all the photos of your favourite holiday pictures all joined together to form your own 3-D panoramic vistas.

You can now download the officially released Photosynth version 1.0.

PhotoSynth was based on Photo Tourism, a joint research project between University of Washington (UW) and Microsoft Research. You can read more about it’s history from here or watch an early version of this technology presented during the 2006 SIGGRAPH.

Email Prioritizer – An Outlook plug-in developed by Office Labs and Microsoft Research

Download Email Prioritizer prototype.

Email Prioritizer is an free add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 that helps you manage email overload.  and it prioritizes email to help you focus on the email messages that are most important to you with a 0-3 star rating system. It also provides a “do not disturb” button that temporarily pauses new email arrival.

It does this by using various algorithms to automatically identify the importance or urgency of e-mail messages delivered into an Outlook 2007 in-box. This idea was developed from a research project by Eric Horvitz and Mary Czerwinski.

Click here for a video demo of Email Prioritizer (Soapbox).

Source link: Microsoft Targets E-Mail Overload With Outlook Plug-In (Networking Computing India)

Microsoft Research Asia Researcher Awarded the 2008 MIT TR35 Young Innovator Prize

Dr HUA Xian-Sheng, a lead reseacher from the Internet Media Group (Microsoft Research Asia) was awarded the 2008 MIT Technology Review Young Innovator prize. This award is given in recognition of Hua’s work in the content-based video analysis.

The amount of video on the Web is growing at an ­incredible rate. Effectively searching online video, however, remains difficult.

Hua hopes to crack the problem by teaching computers to recognize objects, scenes, events, and other elements of digital images. He uses machine-learning techniques and annotated videos to train computers to automatically categorize new videos. Click here to view a flowchart explaining Hua’s video search system.

Congrats Xian-Sheng!

Related links:

Bill Gates marks anniversary of Microsoft research arm

On Tuesday (12 Aug 2008), Bill Gates said that the dramatic growth of the Internet would eventually help eliminate “the last constraints we have” and spark a software-writing revolution.

Bill was at a forum in Hong Kong to mark the 10th anniversary of the software giant’s Asian research arm (Microsoft Research Asia). He added that technology currently being developed would transform the way people use computers, expanding their ability to interact with the machines.

Gates also praised the work of his company’s Asian research division and voiced confidence in the power of science and technology as a force for positive change. “Whether it’s software or energy or agriculture, the promise of science is … much greater than ever before and that’s why I’m so optimistic,” he said.”

Read the full article “Gates marks anniversary of Microsoft research arm” (IHT)

Related link: Gates: Privacy an ‘interesting challenge’ (ZDNet Asia)

Running Microsoft Research similiar to a Computer Science Department

Dr Rick Rashid (Senior Vice-President, Microsoft Research) spoke to IEEE Spectrum (Jun 08 ) about his computer science department-styled approach to running Microsoft Research and the breathe of pure research (and not just applied) undertaken.

Visit the interview article “Microsoft’s Rick Rashid on Building a Corporate Research Giant” on IEEE Spectrum.

Synchronous Web Search: Microsoft SearchTogether


Download SearchTogether (beta)

Microsoft SearchTogether is a free Internet Explorer plug-in that allows groups of people to collaborate on Web searches.

SearchTogether can benefit any group of people who are interested in investigating a topic together, such as students working on a group report, colleagues working on a joint project, or friends planning a shared vacation or other social activities. SearchTogether supports both synchronous and asynchronous collaboration styles.

SearchTogether allows each group member to customize their search preferences; choices include Windows Live Search, Yahoo!, and Google.

SearchTogether is a project from Microsoft Research. See SearchTogether page for more details.

Download and Explore the Universe from your Desktop – Microsoft WorldWide Telescope

Today, Microsoft Research announced the availability of the public beta of WorldWide Telescope.

“The WorldWide Telescope is a powerful tool for science and education that makes it possible for everyone to explore the universe,” said Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft.

“By combining terabytes of incredible imagery and data with easy-to-use software for viewing and moving through all that information, the WorldWide Telescope opens the door to new ways to see and experience the wonders of space. Our hope is that it will inspire young people to explore astronomy and science, and help researchers in their quest to better understand the universe.”

I encourage all of you to try it at

Related link: Capturing screenshots from Worldwide Telescope (Long Zheng,

Microsoft to build $280m R&D center in Beijing, China


Microsoft continues expanding it’s research and development capabilities in China with the annoucement of a new $280 million centre in Beijing.


Software giant Microsoft yesterday said it will invest $280 million to build a research and development center in Beijing and significantly expand its research team in the country.

The new R&D campus, set to accommodate 5,000 employees, will become Microsoft’s largest research center outside the United States when it is completed in 2010, said Zhang Yaqin, the company’s China chairman.

Microsoft currently has 3,000 research staff in the country, with 1,500 full-time employees and another 1,500 working on a project basis, Dow Jones has reported. The company has said it will double the number of its full-time research employees in China to 3,000 in the next three years.

Source: Microsoft to build $280m R&D center in Beijing (People’s Daily Online)

An Overview of Microsoft Research: Our Identity, Purpose, Directions and Culture

I uploaded a new Microsoft Research (MSR) video led by Rick Rashid, Tony Hey (External Research) and the six Microsoft Research Labs Managing Directors (including New England) on the web.

This video talks about what is Microsoft Research: our identity, our role in Microsoft, the lab’s research focuses, directions and our common culture. I hope this video gives you an idea what makes Microsoft Research, a genuine exciting research organisation to advance the state of art in science and technology and deliver the next round of innovation to Microsoft users and the world.

Microsoft Research TechFest 2008 Online

Microsoft demonstration photo

Microsoft TechFest 2008, the internal “Microsoft Science Fair” was held 5 Mar 2008. You can now re-live the experience online.

Start off with the keynote led by Rick Rashid (or watch wmv) and Craig Mundie, watch all the interesting video demos from all 5 labs around the world include Music Steering (Lie Lu and Frank Seide, Speech Group, Microsoft Research Asia), WorldWide Telescope (The demo that made Scoble teary) and add your comments on the TechFest Live! blog.

Related link