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!

Bing, Socl Partner at TEDActive 2013

By socl-blog1 year ago - permalink

Tags: Social media microsoft research bing socl

As some of the Socl faithful have noticed, Socl is at TEDActive 2013, thanks to our colleagues at Bing.

TEDActive attendees are accessing a special version of Socl to create and share collages inspired by TEDActive 2013 Talks.


As posted on the Bing Search Blog earlier today:

…we partnered with Microsoft Research’s FUSE Labs, creators of a Bing-powered technology called, and built a special area of this research platform for TEDActive attendees, available at Here, conference-goers can assemble images, research links, videos, and text into collages that express their reactions and associations around the TED Talks. Once completed, attendees can share their collages not only with those at the conference, but with anyone who wishes to view the real-time, online feed. 

Well over 100 Socl collages have been posted thus far… We at FUSE Labs are delighted by this novel use of Socl and hope you enjoy the posts!

Lili Cheng on building tomorrow

Linked 2 years ago - permalink

Tags: fuse labs lili cheng social networking Social media social computing microsoft research

Following our post yesterday regarding Microsoft’s participation at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing I thought it would be interesting to profile a few of the Microsoft women attending the event.

First up is Lili Cheng who was the subject of a great profile in the Seattle Times last year. From that we learned that Lili started her career as an architect, has been likened to Tigger and is a consummate risk taker. Having known Lili personally for many years, I can attest to those last two.

Read the full article on the TechNet Blog!

Researchers: You are Invited to Play with the Research Dataset

By fuse-blog2 years ago - permalink

Tags: fuselabs fuse labs research microsoft research social networking Social media social computing

We are pleased to announce that FUSE Labs is now providing restricted access to our Dataset for researchers to explore questions around social search, interest networking, informal learning, and online community development. is an experimental website from FUSE Labs that lets people share their interests using search.  The dataset provides an anonymized snap shot of public activity within, including posts that have been shared and social activity around posts such as comments and likes.  By sharing our dataset for research purposes we actively seek to collaborate with leading academic, government, and industry researchers to advance the state of the art in social search and interest-based networking.

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Check out one of FUSE Labs greatly talented summer interns Ms. Iris Howley

Linked 2 years ago - permalink

Tags: fuse labs fuselabs research microsoft research

Iris Howley is studying ways to incorporate social factors into educational technologies. At Microsoft Research’s FUSE Labs, Howley, a Ph.D. candidate in Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University, is working on a project complementary to her interests, one that makes use of, an interest- and knowledge-sharing social-networking website. 

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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.

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