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Research at Microsoft

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  • User profile image
    Karthik

    If one looks at any of the major conferences related to NLP, KDDM and the like, Microsoft Research has tonnes of high quality publications that come up.

    But I wonder where Microsoft goes with all this stuff - where does Microsoft utilize all that good NLP research thats being done?

    I look at the projects over at MSR and I've noticed a lot of good stuff that have remained there for a while, but do not really notice them coming into the mainstream at all.

    Is MSR a black-box where so many cool things happen but only some come out, or is it like a la-Bell Labs of the days of yore? Or is it Microsoft's way of IP gathering? Smiley

    Personally, I would love it if MSR released some of the stuff out into the open for us geeks to play around with - hey, we may actually come up with something cool.

    What do you say, folks?

  • User profile image
    jonathanh

    Well, I've got some direct experience here Smiley. I was a researcher at MSR for five years, and now I'm over in Redmond to actually ship the research idea that I worked on. I'll be talking more about it on my blog when I can, but for now you can read more about our formal announcement and some quotes about the project. So yes, we ship stuff from research!

    What we really need is Kevin Schofield here to talk about the process of making the jump... or maybe I should just write a book.

    As to other stuff: whole bunch of programming tools, generics in the CLR, most of the tabletpc, search in longhorn, smart photo editing for MSN and the boxed software, yadda yadda yadda. If no-one else fills in the gaps I'll sit down and make a list - but first I need some sleep...

  • User profile image
    paulcam

    Some things do go live...

    check out WWMX... Smiley

  • User profile image
    Karthik

    jonathanh wrote:

    What we really need is Kevin Schofield here to talk about the process of making the jump... or maybe I should just write a book.


    Think you guys could do a video on the work at MSR and how the stuff comes together? Would be really cool.

    And oh, I found your Java Optimization page quite useful, thank you.

  • User profile image
    Karthik

    And oh - I do have to mention that Microsoft has released stuff from MSR into the open before.

    For example, the MSR Downloads section has the code for some implementations (like the Context-Free Parsing Algorithms) and the like.

    It would be cool if you could release more of such into the open for people to have a look at them, and perhaps help contribute.

    Just a thought.

  • User profile image
    Karthik

    paulcam wrote:
    Some things do go live...

    check out WWMX... Smiley


    Wow, that is quite cool.

    Didn't MSR also have something along these lines to catalogue a person's entire life's events? An e-database of sorts?

    Coming back, I just came across this at the WWMX FAQ:

    We would love to offer access control and buddy lists to the WWMX, but unfortunately, the complexities of access control and tight security prohibit a tiny team like us from implementing a satisfactory solution.

    Now that is one of the reasons Microsoft could make some of their products OpenSource. I'm not suggesting all - but atleast something like this - I can think of a million things I could do if the code were to be opened up Smiley

    The thing is that Microsoft does a lot of cool things with technology, but as a geek, I would like to get my hands on them and play around with atleast some of them - and maybe even contribute to it and make it better.

    Mind you, I'm not even an OpenSource evangelist - I just believe in using the right tool for the right job, and understand the need for both commercial and opensource software enterprises to exist.

    Its just that atleast when the work is not mainstream, and is cool enough - it makes sense to let it out into the open and let others have a go at it. Especially the work at MSR Wink

    Just my $0.02 - I hope you can see where I'm coming from.
  • User profile image
    kevinsch

    OK, I'm here now. It's amazing what you find when you look at referrer lists on your blog...

    We've had a ton of MSR technologies get transferred into MS products. Including the NLP technology; in fact, the grammar checker, SMartTags and language detection on Office are all based on the MSR NL technology.

    Speech technology has gone into Windows and Office. Graphics technology has gone into DirectX, XBox, and some specific games. Networking technology has gone into Windows and XBox Live. Windows Media codecs for audio and video use technology from MSR. Lots of other stuff too.

    Some product groups actually started in MSR, including the Digital Media Division, Tablet PC, and SPOT.

    Here's a nice list. There's more too.

    Some of the development tools that were created in MSR's Programmer Productivity Research Center are now in widespread use throughout MS's product development teams.

    It's not an exaggeration to say that essentially every MS product today has MSR technology in it.

    We are always looking for new prototypes and code that we can release on the web site. Right now we're working on RSS feeds so that it will be easy for people to find out when we post new stuff. Stay tuned.

  • User profile image
    kevinsch

    Funny you should mention that... my team in MSR is in fact making a video about how we do tech transfer. I'd be happy to do a video for channel 9 too.

    And as for the comment about things going live:

    WWMX
    Netscan
    TerraServer

    all came out of MSR.

  • User profile image
    St23aM

    When were talking NLP are we talking about Neurological Linguistically Programming?

  • User profile image
    spod

    natural langauge processing...

    http://research.microsoft.com/nlp/

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