Task Market, a project of Microsoft Research Asia. Task Market attempts to be a type of Craigslist for simple business tasks, like writing, editing, translation, or design. Post a task on Task Market, or find a task you are interested in completing, agree to the terms, complete the task, and pay or get paid through PayPal.
Obviously this is just starting, and the tasks are (very) sparse, but a service like this would certainly make sense, especially for small business owners and freelancers to get together without having to commit to large contracts.
In its ten-year history, Microsoft Research Asia has grown into an organization that employs over 350 researchers and engineers, has welcomed more than 2,500 interns, has awarded over 250 Microsoft fellowships, has published over 1,500 papers for top international journals and conferences, and has achieved many technological breakthroughs. We have extended the scope of our university relations programs by establishing joint labs with universities in Asia, conducting joint research programs, and hosting top-notch visiting professors at our lab. These relationships have allowed us to create new opportunities for both Microsoft and the academia in the Asia Pacific region.
Areas of Research:
Natural User Interfaces enable users to interact with a computer using speech, gestures, and expressions.
Next-generation Multimedia allows people to search for and to be immersed in interactive online shopping, education, meeting, and entertainment activities.
Data-Intensive Computing explores the new infrastructures, algorithms, tools, and applications to collect, analyze, and mine results for data-intensive business in both the consumer and enterprise sectors.
Search and Online Ads take Web search and online advertising to the next level by applying data-mining, machine-learning, and knowledge-discovery techniques to information analysis, organization, retrieval, and visualization.
Fundamental Computer Science includes areas such as theoretical computer science (theory), systems, networking, and machine learning that will have an impact on multiple applications and products.
You can learn a lot more about the beginnings of MSR Asia in the book Guanxi: The Art of Relationships
Microsoft, Research, Asia, Task Market, Project