Microsoft folds Live Labs into Bing; Gary Flake resigns

Microsoft folds Live Labs into Bing; Gary Flake resigns

Summary: Microsoft is folding its Live Labs team into Bing, company officials said on October 8. Almost lmost all of the 70 or so Live Labs members are moving over within the next month. The one notable exception: Technical Fellow and Live Labs leader Gary Flake.

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Microsoft Live Labs is no more.

Microsoft is folding its Live Labs team into Bing, company officials said on October 8.

Almost all of the 70 or so Live Labs members are moving over within the next month. One notable exception: Technical Fellow and Live Labs leader Gary Flake is not. Flake announced his resignation today (though he will be staying to assist with the transition through the end of October, a company spokesperson said).

Flake tweeted his decision to resign on October 8. Flake joined Microsoft four years ago from Yahoo, where he founded Yahoo Research Labs, ran Yahoo’s corporate R&D activities and was Overture’s Chief Science Officer.

Bing, in many ways, is a natural home for Live Labs, as the Live Labs team was focusing most recently on new visual search technologies with its Pivot work. A number of Live Labs projects never made it out of the labs.

Live Labs was a mash-up of MSN and Microsoft research team members that Microsoft created in the hopes of bringing new technology research more quickly to market. (Microsoft formed a number of similar labs around the same time, including the still-operational Office Labs.)

There were rumors last year that Microsoft had pulled the plug on Live Labs. Instead, roughly half the team was moved into other Microsoft product groups, with the remaining half focusing on search and data retrieval and discovery projects.

Microsoft execs often touted Live Labs as an example of Microsoft being an innovator, rather than a follower.

Topics: Enterprise Software, CXO, Microsoft, IT Employment, Social Enterprise

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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22 comments
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  • Anyone Think The Oct 11 Win 7 Launch Is A Little Too Quiet?

    We're 3 days out.

    No hoopla
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    I've seen more commercials for Life As We Know it than Windows Phone 7....and that would be ZERO.
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    • And how many Android commercials where there

      cyberslummer? The one or two from Verizon?
      Your total fixation on anything MS related really paints you as scared of something.

      It sounds like it sucks to be you. ;)
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      • RE: Microsoft folds Live Labs into Bing; Gary Flake resigns

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    • Funny, Apple are the same...

      @cyberslammer No banners, fanfares, announcements, ad campaigns before an Apple launch either.

      Apart from all the media leaks that is.
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    • RE: Microsoft folds Live Labs into Bing; Gary Flake resigns

      @cyberslammer
      You are so worried about WP7 that you post about it in an entirely unrelated reading?
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    • RE: Microsoft folds Live Labs into Bing; Gary Flake resigns

      @cyberslammer Look at all the fear...you are all trembling at the impending failure of Windows Phone 7...

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      If I'm wrong I will definitely admit it.

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    • Lead time

      The quarter just ended a few days ago. Given the recent attention to financials it was probably best not to start the ad spend until after the quarter closed. It does take a little while after buying the ads to get them into rotation.

      But the phones probably won't ship until November anyway, so that's no big deal. Monday is just the launch announcement.
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    • RE: Microsoft folds Live Labs into Bing; Gary Flake resigns

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  • RE: Microsoft folds Live Labs into Bing; Gary Flake resigns

    I dare say all the hoopla, fanfare, ad campaigns and tv spots will start on Monday.
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  • Lots of cleaning up going on

    Somebody is straightening up the place in Redmond.
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  • RE: Microsoft folds Live Labs into Bing; Gary Flake resigns

    I'm still amazed by Photosynth and pivot seems very promising. Hopefully more cool stuff to come from the labs group
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  • RE: Microsoft folds Live Labs into Bing; Gary Flake resigns

    Guess that's one way to drive traffic ;-p to Bing.
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