Microsoft announces Chinese search research centre

The software firm has opened a lab focussing on the fundamentals of search technology in China

Microsoft Research Asia (MSR Asia), Microsoft's fundamental research arm in Asia Pacific, has launched the Search Technology Center (STC).

MSR Asia STC will work with MSN product teams to deliver search products and services to MSN customers in China and around the world.

"The new Search Technology Center is a natural next step for Microsoft Research, building on our lab's steady growth since opening in 1998, the results of our information services research efforts to-date, and our extremely successful relationship with MSN," said Harry Shum, managing director of Microsoft Research Asia. "The launch of the Search Technology Center is a testament to our people, culture and drive for innovation."

The new centre will focus on data-mining, machine-learning and knowledge-discovery techniques to drive information analysis, organisation, retrieval and visualisation. Search technologies and innovations already created by Microsoft Research include multimedia, mobile and vertical search.

With consumer portals in 41 markets and 20 languages worldwide, MSN receives in excess of 400 million unique user visits each month. MSN's presence in China has been growing since the launch of its Chinese-language portal and MSN Technologies China, a product development facility, earlier this year.

Over the years, Microsoft Research has expanded its portfolio of research in search technologies. In July 2005, for example, MSR Asia was responsible for 12 of the 17 papers Microsoft presented or co-presented at the weeklong ACM SIGIR 2005 Conference in Salvador, Brazil.