Just a year after setting up FUSE Labs as a dedicated social-computing lab, Microsoft is moving the team into its Microsoft Research division.
Future Social Experiences (FUSE) Labs was established by Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie -- who announced this past fall that he is leaving Microsoft. FUSE Labs, headed by General Manager Lili Cheng, was an amalgamation of Cheng’s Microsoft Research (MSR) Creative Systems group and two other labs that were already under Ozzie: Rich Media Labs, in Redmond, Wash., and Starup Labs, based in Cambridge, Mass.
Cheng tweeted about FUSE being moved to Microsoft Research on November 16.
FUSE has launched several social-computing focused projects in the past year, including a Twitter-viewing tool, Emporia; a social-network organization tool, Spindex; Bing Twitter; and a mashup of Office Web Apps and Facebook, Microsoft Docs.
FUSE also was working on a competitor to Adobe's LightRoom product with a social-networking twist (codenamed "SmartFlow"), but so far has not delivered any test builds or releases to the public.
FUSE is introducing this week another new project, Montage, which is a tool that blends blogging and search.
I've asked Microsoft for more information about the decision to move FUSE to Microsoft Research. If and when I hear back, I'll update this post with more details.
Update: A spokesperson said there were "no changes to discuss."He added:
"We’re moving ahead full-steam with our work and are excited to continue our charter of creating new social, real-time, and media-rich experiences like Montage that allow people to create, connect and collaborate with what matters to them."