Microsoft highlights big-data, analytics projects at TechFair research fair

Summary:Microsoft is highlighting some of its big-data and analytics projects at this week's TechFair research fair.

Microsoft showed off a number of its latest research projects at the Silicon Valley TechFair research fair in Mountain View on April 17.


Among the featured projects — some of which the company had touted previously, others not — were a couple of big data- and analytics-focused ones.

Naiad on Azure, described as a "rich, interactive cloud analytics project," is a .Net-based data-analysis project. Using Naiad, analysts can develop applications locally before deploying it to the cloud, according to the project description.

(As far back as 2012, Microsoft officials were already describing Naiad as an "investigation of parallel dataflow computation in (the) spirit of Dryad/DryadLINQ, focused on incremental computation.)

Researchers also showed off a big data project focused on monitoring urban air quality, as well as "WaveFour," which is a social-analytics platform for businesses. "Tempe" is another Microsoft Research project aimed at exploiting faster machine learning.

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At the fair, Microsoft officials also highlighted contributions the Microsoft Research team made to recently introduced products, including the Cortana personal digital assistant baked into Windows Phone 8.1, as well as the shape-writing technology that is part of the enhanced Word Flow keyboard in Windows Phone 8.1. 

Microsoft officials have been touting advances from Bing and Tellme as precursors to Microsoft's Cortana technology for the past several years. 

A list of projects demonstrated at today's TechFair is on the Microsoft Research site. These projects may or may not overlap with the technologies Microsoft demonstrated at this year's Microsoft Research TechFest, which was not open to press this year.

Topics: Big Data, Microsoft, Innovation


Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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