Microsoft cuts Live Labs staff by half, refocuses on search

Microsoft has reacted to the global economic slump by reassigning half of its forward-looking Live Labs staff to other projects around the company.

Microsoft has reacted to the global economic slump by reassigning half of its forward-looking Live Labs staff to other projects around the company. The remaining half will focus solely on Microsoft's search products, the area that probably offers Microsoft the most room for revenue growth.

At least for now, you can browse the names and headshots of most of the Live Labs team, pre-reassignment. A separate page Live Labs projects. The group, formally announced in January 2006, even posted a rambling Manifesto:

"These new dynamics set the stage for the literal evolution of innovation. Startup costs and barriers to entry diminish; opportunities for creating entirely new value increase; human muscle no longer gates scalability; transactions are not bound by time, distance, or size; and something intangible - a better algorithm - can massively increase global utility and welfare. This pattern is not merely about new applications. It's about a revolution in how we create, share, and refine anything that can be digitally encoded, be it news and information, artistic forms, scientific breakthroughs, personal communications, economic transactions, and, yes, even software. This is not Web 2.0. It's World 2.0."

Microsoft isn't the only tech supercompany cutting back on projects that don't add to the bottom line. Google unplugged its Lively virtual world in November, and Yahoo shut down Y!Live in December.

Live Labs's most high-profile project is Photosynth, which correlates the data in multiple digital photographs to create a three-dimensional model of a place or object. It's not yet clear what will happen to Photosynth or the Seadragon image viewer. Perhaps the remaining Live Labs staff will find a way to enhance Microsoft's search with more visual features like bird's-eye view.

At least one project has a chance at life after Live Labs: In January, the group open-sourced their Web Sandbox for website developers.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoftmicrosoft live labs

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Boutin

The Industry Standard
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?