Keeping it simple, with Xim

By fuse-blog1 week ago - permalink

Tags: fuselabs getxim microsoft microsoft research social design


[Written by Colleen Estrada] Some of us at Fuse Labs have had the great pleasure of working on Xim for about the past year or so. Today, we’re pleased to say the app is available for the US in the Windows Phone and Android mobile app stores (and coming soon to iPhone). Visit to get the app today.

Xim began as a hackathon project with a fairly simple premise – how can we make better use of all these screens we have around us? Wouldn’t it be great if I could show what I have on this device on that other device over there, easily and without jumping through a bunch of hoops or buying a piece of hardware?

The project evolved (through tech explorations, usability studies, user model iterations, and lots of hard and fun collaborative work) to become Xim, a mobile app that allows you to share your photos with friends without having to pass your phone around.

It sounds simple. Hey, it is simple. We like simple. Share your photos, not your phone! 

Xim uses the cloud to synchronize device displays and manage permissions based on invitations sent to people via your phone’s contact list, phone number or email. Only one person needs to have the app to get started. That person picks photos from their camera roll or favorite service, then picks people and starts the Xim.


Invitations are sent via text or email (or by notification for those with the Xim app). All participant screens in the Xim swipe, pan and zoom together, for a unique, fun, synchronous experience that is simply a better way to have conversations about photos “in the moment.”


And, while Xim is great for face to face interaction or phone conversations, simple messages can also be exchanged for those times when voice isn’t an option.

Cloud-based, Xims are not permanent – all the content expires after a little while so neither you nor your friends are burdened with storage or management overhead – just sit back and enjoy the show.

We’d love for you to give the app a try and let us know what you think.

Want to learn more? Watch the introductory video.

 Happy Ximming!

Updates to Socl

By socl-blog2 months ago - permalink

Tags: socl fuselabs social media microsoft besocl

Today the team is refreshing Socl with some much asked for capabilities.

  • Even faster post creation. Now Socl provides an inline post creator ideally suited for fast creation of text, link or single image posts. All of Socl’s existing capabilities are just a click away.
  • Streamlined navigation. Easily dive in to the content types you prefer to discuss or create using the Socl ‘app’ picker in the main navigation bar, or hang out in the main feed to participate in all the action.
  • Directed posts. In addition to public posts, Socl now also allows you to make posts visible only to you or to people you choose.
  • Collect while creating. Now you can collect your post while creating it, and creating new collection is easier than ever before.
  • More inline video support. Now in addition to YouTube, most of your favorite video services - such as Vimeo, Instagram, Vine and more will play inline in the Socl feed. Give it a try!

Happy Making!

The Socl Team and Microsoft Research Fuse Labs

Faster post creation with new quick postimage

Streamlined navigation with Socl appsimage

Directed postsimage

Collect while creatingimage

Additional inline video playingimage

Socl, where creativity meets.

By fuse-blog1 year ago - permalink

Tags: socl fuselabs social media microsoft besocl

A new day, a new Socl!

Socl now offers a set of simple, fun “create experiences” that make it even easier to express and share ideas with people worldwide – from rich visual collages to short animated media and memes, there’s even more ways to create, collect and share stuff you love – on Socl, and other social networks.

Watch the video here

Create Experiences



Part “meme-generator,” part game, Picotales are little stories made by overlaying text on an image.


Currently available for Windows devices, BLINK apps provide ways to capture, create and share short dynamic media using Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8.

Collage - now with upload!

Collage, Socl’s “go to” create experience now includes image upload…collages are comprised of images, links and videos found on the web or uploaded to Socl.

Video Party

Video Parties are shared video experiences on Socl - great for crafting a quick playlist to share with friends.

In addition to the create experiences, we’ve greatly enhanced Socl for mobile devices, with a responsive design that optimizes for your device. Now you can take Socl anywhere. 

Visit the Socl About page to learn more…

We look forward to seeing what you create today!

Happy making!


FUSE Team interview: Will Portnoy, Developer

By fuse-blog2 years ago - permalink

Tags: will portnoy fuse labs social networking microsoft social media social computing interview software development fuselabs microsoft research

By Richard Zaragoza

Name: Will Portnoy
Title: Principal Software Design Engineer
Years as a developer: 13
Years at Microsoft: 9

I can personally tell you that Will Portnoy is a great guy—among the best. If this interview ended with that sentence, it would be enough. I’ve worked with him for nearly two years, and we’ve become fast friends. In that time, I have concluded that he is like a maraschino cherry in the center of a cherry cordial, not bouncing around or locked in a wad of nougat, but rather floating blissfully in the midst of thick slow-moving syrup. He is like a sweet candy Buddha, even-keeled and a trusted rock in the storm. As if that isn’t enough, he’s also an excellent computer scientist and yes, a professionally trained dancer.

Growing up in the New York school system, access to computers came early for Will: “During class I would furiously finish my assignments; which might be why I am fast at things today, so I could get back to the computer labs. I’d spend the rest of my day there.”

Yet despite his intense interest in computer science, Will originally studied biomedical engineering at Duke with the intent of becoming a doctor. Fortunately for us, however, he was unable to shake his love of programming. So in his sophomore year, he added computer science as a second major. After years of study and writing a dissertation titled “Distributable Defect Localization Using Markov Models,” he was granted a Ph.D. He ended up being a doctor after all.

Facts, analysis, and reason are the syrupy goo Will floats in. He describes himself as a “quantitative, algorithmic kind of developer,” and because of a mathematical background, he consistently provides the team factual answers in a calm manner, like a long-tenured professor. He goes deep into details, and you always leave feeling good—you got your answer, plus help you didn’t realize you needed.


RZ: What do you do at FUSE?

WP: There seems to be several different perspectives of what I do, but I’m certainly perceived as “a backend guy.”

RZ: Tell me about your first forays into programming.

WP: I entered a contest in the second grade to print an American flag. It wasn’t that advanced—just printing text—but it was kind of cool to be programming back then. As a result, my parents soon got me an Apple IIc for Christmas. Later in high school I took introductory classes for programming but moved onto 3D graphics in Turbo Pascal once I finished my regular assignments. It was all DOS back then, but it was fun to write assembly code. [I will quietly add for your information only that there may have been the occasional virus that may or may not have filled the teachers screen with happy faces. Clever lad. - RZ]

RZ: Do you have any advice for getting into software development?

WP: You have to actually like it because there are times it is going to be frustrating, and there are people who like doing it even when it gets frustrating. Don’t decide to do programing because you think it makes a lot of money or is somewhat prestigious. You have to spend hours concentrating about the smallest little detail. However, there is always a more hybrid role. For example, FUSE has people who are more designer-types that can also program, and they use programming as a mechanism to illustrate their ideas.

RZ: Tell me about swing dancing. A little bird tells me there is some history there?

WP: [smiles] I took up dancing to meet girls. There were very few women in my computer science program, and so I took a swing dancing lesson. I met my wife and then promptly stopped swing dancing lessons. It worked, but she’s still upset with me, because she came to have fun and wasn’t simply trying to meet people. Earlier in college I was on a formation dance team for ballroom dance. For guys it’s not so hard, you’re just basically providing a rigid frame for the girls to flourish, but we went to New York for a competition and all that.

And once again, Will is supplying a rigid framework—one in which the FUSE team flourishes. Huzzah, Young Portnoy, you are indeed a great and intriguing man. is now internationalized!

By docs-blog2 years ago - permalink

Tags: docs fuselabs international microsoft microsoft research

Welcome    Witamy    ようこそ    환영함니다    Добро пожаловать       ברוכים הבאים

A lot of users arrive here from countries outside the U.S. They often wish Docs could speak their language.

A few days ago, their wishes were answered: Docs’s View and Edit applets are now localized to 40 different languages!

Although the main Docs interface is still English, it will use a user’s language where it matters most: when editing or viewing the contents of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. Also, every new blank document is now created from a language-specific template, and spell-checking of new Word documents now defaults to the appropriate language. Creating content in YOUR language should now be easier than ever.

Read More

Productivity Future Vision (2011) (by officevideos)

These vision pieces are so inspiring! The scenario at the end is great, in that it shows people having a social connection through technology in a way that would feel almost as natural as being there in person.

By fuse-blog 2 years ago - permalink

Tags: microsoft vision tech


Your Kid Could Create the next Halo Game

Well, maybe not the next “Halo,” but he or she could be well on their way to creating a fun PC or Xbox 360 game with Kodu, a free set of fun tools from Microsoft. And for the competitive kids out there, there’s real money up for grabs!

From readwriteweb:

Microsoft is releasing a new version of its Kodu Game Lab today, and it’s also kicking off its Kodu Cup Competition for students ages 9 to 17. The competition asks kids to design their own video game using Kodu, and the winners will compete for a $5000 prize for themselves, along with $5000 for their school and a trip to the worldwide finals of Microsoft’s Imagine Cup competition.

Check out this short video with a brief introduction. Then download the tools, and get playing!

Excellent overview of Kodu in this demo - thanks, imthedadthatswhy!

By kodu-blog 2 years ago - permalink

Tags: kodu imagine cup microsoft gaming education