Here is a list of innovative projects from various Microsoft labs. Many of these projects are handy tools that you can try out today.
From Live Labs
Thumbtack lets users collect snippets of information from Web sites and share the collections with others.
"Social Streams is a Live Labs project whose mission is to aggregate, store and mine all social media content. The Social Streams Platform has been used to support a number of applications and research efforts, and to date we have made one of these applications called Political Streams."
Seadragon Mobile "Seadragon has gone mobile. Now you can try out our first mobile version to see graphics or photos on your iPhone in greater detail than ever before. Create your own content with the Deep Zoom Composer or PhotoZoom and view it on your phone. "
From Office Labs
"Touchless enables touch without touching by using a webcam to track color based markers. Touchless includes two parts: "Touchless Demo" is an open source application that anyone with a webcam can use to experience multi-touch, no geekiness required; "Touchless SDK is" an open source SDK that enables developers to create multi-touch based applications using a webcam for input, geekiness recommended."
Sticky Sorter is a desktop application that allows anyone to use it to collaborate and organize ideas electronically, using a familiar sticky note interface.
Response Point is a an advanced software-based telephone system for small businesses. It supports voicemail and multi-party calling in addition to two party VoIP calls. It features innovative voice recognition technology to manage calls and voice mail. Voice mails can also be sent to e-mail where they can be retrieved and archived.