Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Microsoft Launches "Live Labs" Research Initiative

Microsoft announced the formation of "Live Labs," a new initiative between MSN and Microsoft Research aimed at providing "consistency in vision, leadership and infrastructure as well as a nimble applied research environment that fosters rapid innovations."



Microsoft Live Labs, which will be headed by Dr. Gary William Flake, noted industry technologist and Microsoft technical fellow, will focus on Internet-centric applied research programs including rapidly prototyping and launching of emerging technologies, incubating entirely new inventions, and improving and accelerating Windows Live offerings. Ray Ozzie, Craig Mundie and David Vaskevitch, Microsoft's chief technical officers, will serve as the Live Labs Advisory Board.



Live Labs will investigate a broad and comprehensive set of research topics such as multimedia search, machine learning, distributed computing and data mining, and will engage in rapid prototyping and the incubation of disruptive technologies. Unlike basic research, which is geared toward visionary discoveries that may or may not end up in actual products, and product development, which is feature-focused and geared toward solving tactical engineering problems, Live Labs' applied research will study the relationship and applicability of theories or principles to the solution of a problem or an actual product or service.

Microsoft also announced the hiring of Dr. Ashok Chandra, a notable industry and academic researcher, as general manager of Search Labs, a new organization devoted to innovation and incubation that will be closely aligned with Live Labs. Search Labs will be stationed in Redmond and at the Microsoft Silicon Valley campus in Mountain View, Calif. Search Labs will focus on areas such as personalization, socialization and improved user experiences while maintaining strict regard for user privacy. In addition, Chandra's teams will build technologies for data mining, vertical industries and parametric capabilities to go beyond the search bar experience.http://labs.live.com

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