Microsoft Plays Up Search in Research Reorg

Both the U.S. and Asian Microsoft Research teams are tackling a variety of search-related projects.

It is not just the product teams at Microsoft Corp. that are focusing heavily on search. The Microsoft Research unit is doing so, as well.

To wit, Microsoft Research recently reorganized its Redmond, Wash., labs by creating four new research teams. A text mining, search and navigation team is prominent among the newly minted groups.

The other new MSR teams include a communications/collaboration group; a knowledge tools group; and a network embedded computing group.

At the same time, MSR Asia recently announced that it also is reorganizing and re-prioritizing. MSR Asia created a handful of new research teams. Among them: a Web search and mining team.

Microsoft announced the formation of the four new Redmond-based teams at the end of August, roughly around the time Microsoft promoted Henrique "Rico" Malvar to director of MSR Redmond. Previously, Malvar was a senior researcher and manager with MSRs Signal Processing Group.

MSRs text mining/search group works closely with the Windows, SQL Server, MSN and other Microsoft product teams that are focused on beating Google and other search competitors. The group is headed by Eric Brill.

"Weve been doing research in this space in MSR since Day 1," especially in MSRs Cambridge, England, and Beijing labs, said Kevin Schofield, general manager of strategy and communications for MSR.

The Redmond text mining/search team will be "a new hub for search," Schofield said. "And our investment in this area will only grow. Thats where the industry is headed."

The text mining, search and navigation group is focusing on helping users "find information more effectively in large text collections, such as the Web, help and support sites, discussion groups, and intranets," according to the mission statement on the new text mining/search site.


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