Microsoft Research

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Microsoft Research
Founded1991; 32 years ago (1991)
Key people
SubsidiariesHavok Group
Employees (in 2016)

Microsoft Research (MSR) is the research subsidiary of Microsoft. It was created in 1991 by Richard Rashid,[2] Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold with the intent to advance state-of-the-art computing and solve difficult world problems through technological innovation in collaboration with academic, government, and industry researchers. The Microsoft Research team has more than 1,000[citation needed] computer scientists, physicists, engineers, and mathematicians, including Turing Award winners, Fields Medal winners, MacArthur Fellows, and Dijkstra Prize winners.

Between 2010 and 2018, 154,000 AI patents were filed worldwide, with Microsoft having by far the largest percentage of those patents, at 20%.[3] According to estimates in trade publications, Microsoft spent about $6 billion annually in research initiatives from 2002 to 2010 and has spent from $10–14 billion annually since 2010.[4][5]

Microsoft Research has made significant advances in the field of AI which it has infused in its products including Kinect, Bing, Holo Lens, Cortana, Microsoft Translator, Linkedin, Havok and Dynamics to provide its customers with more benefits and better service.[4]

The mission statement of MSR is:

  1. Expand the state of the art in each of the areas in which we do research
  2. Rapidly transfer innovative technologies into Microsoft products
  3. Ensure that Microsoft products have a future

Key people[edit]

Microsoft Research includes the core Microsoft Research labs and Microsoft Research AI, Microsoft Research NExT (for New Experiences and Technologies), and other incubation efforts all directed by corporate vice president Peter Lee.

Research areas[edit]

Microsoft research is categorized into the following broad areas:[6]

Microsoft Research sponsors the Microsoft Research Fellowship for graduate students.

Research laboratories[edit]

Microsoft has research labs around the world including the following non-exhaustive list:[8]

Microsoft Research Redmond
Microsoft Research Asia, Beijing
Microsoft Research Cambridge
Microsoft Research Bangalore
  • Microsoft Research Redmond was founded on the Microsoft Redmond campus in 1991. It has about 350 researchers and is headed by Donald Kossmann. The bulk of research on the Redmond, Washington campus focuses on areas such as theory, artificial intelligence, machine learning, systems and networking, security, privacy, HCI, and wearable technologies.[citation needed]
  • Microsoft Research Cambridge was founded in the United Kingdom in 1997 by Roger Needham and is headed by Christopher Bishop. Antony Rowstron and Abigail Sellen are Deputy Directors. The lab conducts research on topics including machine learning, security and information retrieval, and maintains close ties to the University of Cambridge and the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory.[citation needed]
  • Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA) was founded in Beijing in November 1998. It has expanded rapidly and now has more than 300 researchers and developers, along with approximately 300 visiting scientists and students (including its new satellite office in Shanghai). Its focus includes natural user interfaces, multimedia, data-intensive computing, search and online advertising, NLP, and computer science fundamentals.[9]
  • Microsoft Research India is sited in Bengaluru (Bangalore) and is headed by Sriram Rajamani.[10]
  • Microsoft Research Station Q, on the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara, was founded in 2005. Its collaborators explore theoretical and experimental approaches to creating the quantum analog of the traditional bit—the qubit. The group is led by Michael Freedman.[citation needed]
  • Microsoft Research New England was established in 2008 in Cambridge, Massachusetts adjacent to the MIT campus by Jennifer Chayes who also managed the New York and Montreal labs. The lab is now managed by Susan Dumais. The lab collaborates with the broader research community and pursues interdisciplinary research that brings together computer scientists and social scientists to develop future applications.[11]
  • Microsoft Research New York City was established on May 3, 2012. Susan Dumais serves as Managing Director of this location as well as the New England and Montreal labs. The lab collaborates with academia and other Microsoft Research labs in computational and behavioral social sciences, computational economics and prediction markets, machine learning, and information retrieval.[12]
  • Microsoft Research Montreal was established after the acquisition of Maluuba by Microsoft in 2017. Susan Dumais serves as Managing Director of this location as well as the New England and New York City labs. The lab collaborates with academia and other Microsoft Research labs in natural language processing (specifically machine reading comprehension), deep learning and reinforcement learning.[13]

Former research laboratories[edit]


Microsoft Research invests in multi-year collaborative joint research with academic institutions at Barcelona Supercomputing Center,[15] INRIA,[16] Carnegie Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), the Microsoft Research Centre for Social NUI and others.[17][18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dina Bass, Jack Clark (25 January 2016). "How Microsoft plans to beat Google and Facebook to the Next Tech Breakthrough". Bloomberg. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Rick Rashid: Emeritus Researcher". Microsoft.
  3. ^ Louis Columbus, January 6, 2019 Microsoft Leads The AI Patent Race Going Into 2019, Forbes
  4. ^ a b "Microsoft research and development expenses". Notesmatic. 9 May 2018.
  5. ^ Togyer, Jason (7 August 2009). "Still Boldly Going". CMU.
  6. ^ "Microsoft Research – Emerging Technology, Computer, and Software Research". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 29 April 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  7. ^ "Microsoft wants to 'read people's brain waves' to mine cryptocurrency". 24 April 2020. Archived from the original on 14 May 2022. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  8. ^ "About Research at Microsoft – Microsoft Research". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 11 December 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  9. ^ "关于研究院 - 微软亚洲研究院".
  10. ^ "About Research at Microsoft – Microsoft Research". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 11 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Microsoft Research New England". Microsoft.
  12. ^ "Microsoft Research New York". Microsoft.
  13. ^ "Microsoft Research Montreal". Microsoft.
  14. ^ "Class of 18th September 2014". MSR Silicon Valley. Archived from the original on 24 January 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  15. ^ "BSC-Microsoft Research Centre - BSC-Microsoft Research Centre". Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  16. ^ "Microsoft Research Inria Joint Centre". Archived from the original on 29 June 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  17. ^ "Academic Programs - Microsoft Research". Archived from the original on 14 December 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  18. ^ "Microsoft India Development Center - MSIDC".

External links[edit]