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

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.

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, Emerging Tech, Microsoft, Business Intelligence


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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  • Without good economics, the tech is irrelevant

    These tech sound interesting, but they seem irrelevant to ISVs, because they seem so uneconomical. The tech probably makes sense to Line Of Business developers. I just find it incredible how the whole Windows community just stares at Google, as it dumps its products onto the market, driving the value of everything through the floor, and no one says anything. If I had clout, I would be hollering for antitrust regulators to take some kind of injunction out on Google. If the Windows ecosystem doesn't take active steps against Google soon, then all the new tech it produces will be worthless curiosities. People, this is not the normal ebb and flow of a market, this is steps being taking by a predator company, to take you and others out!
    P. Douglas
    • Is the word "technology" too difficult for people to spell nowadays?

      Never mind that "tech" is also defined as a person who supports or administers technology; people less fluent in English are going to love reading your response - unless you're trying to speak down to their level, which is no easy task...

      As for the points being made, of which there are some I don't disagree with, you will find many will disagree with you because they think the market is perfect. It's not imperfect, but is it truly against so many things by default?
      • The situation is far from normal

        I believe the abbreviation of the word 'technology' is not something worth sweating over, since it's just an abbreviation. What bother's me though, is the use of the word 'reveal' instead of revelation, is in the 'big reveal'.

        When you have developments like Intel losing money on the sale of Atom chips, MS not making money on low end Windows devices, and apparently OEMs not doing much better, I'd say that Google's zero pricing of its products, is having a significant effect on the Windows ecosystem. There is also the prices of apps in the Windows 8 / WP stores which are abysmal. Also, I can't imagine retailers like Best Buy making much money on low end devices. No. The situation isn't normal, this is classic antitrust behavior of one company, trying to take out others, by flooring its prices.

        P.S. I shouldn't have used the term product dumping, as that involves the exporting of products, and a price differential between markets.
        P. Douglas
    • Um, the "windows community" sees EVERYTHING google produces

      for what it is, worthless buckets of puke organized into a neat line. All you have to do is look at what Microsoft is doing with Azure to know that google is no threat. Heck, even google knows their own stuff is vomit, they cancel projects on a daily basis.
  • marketing to itself

    It is a matter of record that Microsoft has little or no "Big Data /Analytics" software technology worth a bag of M&Ms, therefore licensing and using Apache Hadoop and several other Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) world class tools, without which the company may as well migrate to candy making.

    Senior Hadoop and other pertinent tools developers have stated that the performance of Microsoft's Big Data/Analytics, Azure, Hyper-V and Windows Server 2012 with SQL Server has been sub par at best in comparison to these tools used in well integrated and efficient RedHat or Ubuntu enterprise data mining operations.

    This reality therefore makes it almost impossible for Microsoft to stand out from those whose technology it uses less but effectively, other than in super low pricing - sort of like the WalMart of enterprise technology services.