One thing Microsoft does WAY better than Google: Research

First, a little one-minute note from my editor. I’m giving Marc Canter what he wants. More, shorter, pieces.

Second, you get a choice — this is of the Microsoft Research TechFest, which my camera got a personal tour around. The full one-hour tour (actually, only half the tour, the second hour — and more “Editor’s Choice” clips will be up tomorrow).

Or, if the full hour is too long, go for a short version, which includes just the coolest stuff. First short version is here (12 minutes). Second short version is here (16 minutes).

Either way, THANK YOU VERY MUCH to everyone at Microsoft who made this tour possible. Especially Kevin Schofield, who showed me around the floor (he’s the guy you see throughout the video).

Kevin is the guy responsible for moving technology from Research into the product teams, so he seems to know everyone working on Research and what’s cool about it. This is the first tape. It’s about an hour long, but you’ll meet some really great technologists who are doing some eye popping research. If you can’t handle the long version (a second one will come up in a few days) we’ve picked a few of the cooler parts and will put those out shortly.

What will you see?

  1. 2:11: VIBE group shows off synchronizing via mobile phone research
  2. 10:09: Andy Wilson shows off a cool set of apps that use video cameras in a new way (don’t miss this, it rocks!)
  3. 19:50: Daniel Robbins shows off a new “tap UI” for phones.
  4. 23:35: Matt Uyttendaele shows off HUGE (4 gigapixel or so) photos with a killer “tiling” system that displays them wicked fast.
  5. 29:52: Linking the real world to the Web with pictures (killer camera phone research).
  6. 34:04: Speech recognition for podcasts.
  7. 36:50: Frank Seide shows video exploration and discovery for Media Center PCs.
  8. 45:31: Richard Harper demonstrates a bunch of hardware concepts and trials for home users.
  9. 52:00: Vibhore Goyal shows using SMS to blogging and research in India.
  10. 54:25: Rajesh Veeraraghavan is doing research with farmers in India to find better education systems for them.

If you only want to watch one thing, don’t miss Andy Wilson. His stuff is so freaking cool. His demos are in this short video.

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Tech blogs are back

I just finished reading my feeds today and there are a TON of great blogs out there — I probably put about 100 items on my link blog. I wish I could put Widgets on my blog cause Google Reader now has a little Widget that lets you put the latest 10 items in a box on your blog (, the blog host I use, blocks most of them).

Steve Jobs alert: Killer Java app for iPhone

Steve Jobs doesn’t think there’s anything cool being done in Java. At least that’s what he told Sun Microsystems’ CEO Jonathan Schwartz.

If I were Jonathan I’d pay John Poisson, CEO of Tiny Pictures to head over to Steve Jobs’ office and show him Radar.

This turns your camera phone into a social tool for sending fun stuff to your family. I got a demo a little while ago and it rocks.

Radar is sort of like Twitter (and we saw how popular that got in the past few weeks) but even better: it’s small photos for your friends. It’s getting very popular and I want it. But, the problem is I’m getting an iPhone and the iPhone doesn’t yet have a Java runtime (which Radar needs for its full-featured client — a lower quality WAP client is available, but it isn’t nearly as cool or useful).

Anyway, I’m noticing a trend here. The coolest stuff to come before my camera lately has been for mobile phones.

Maybe instead of Web 2.0 we should be talking about Mobile 2.0.

Another Google vs. Live search

OK, OK, I’m an arrogant a##h@@e. But, everytime I do a Google vs. Live search Google wins.

Here’s another one. I remember a few days ago someone on Twitter announced a Twitter search engine. I didn’t remember the URL, so I went to Google. Typed “Twitter search.”

Google came right back with the correct answer. And came back with the best blogs on the topic.

But, some people at Microsoft are saying that I’m being unfair to Microsoft. I really still do love Microsoft (and I still own stock in Microsoft, I don’t own stock in Google or Yahoo). So, I want them to do well.

But, I go over to and do the same search. The site I’m looking for is nowhere to be found. Even better, the first result brings back Google!

So, sorry, when I say Microsoft’s Internet execution sucks, this is what I’m talking about.

I wish Microsoft were better. I really do.

Oh, and Twitter Search is here.

UPDATE: Look at the advertising Microsoft is bringing back too. Microsoft is trying to raise its advertising revenues by showing non-relevant ads. That’ll hurt Microsoft long term cause anyone on Live will know the ads really have nothing to do with the search being done. Google’s approach will lead to more consistent advertising users. Advertising IS part of the search. Microsoft treats searchers as something to take advantage of, while Google puts far more relevant ads in front of a searcher, or none at all.