Search Results for: powerset

Breaking: Microsoft Acquires Powerset

Breaking news from Microsoft

We’re excited to announce that we’ve reached an agreement to acquire Powerset, a San Francisco-based search and natural language company.

Powerset will join our core Search Relevance team, remaining intact in San Francisco. Powerset brings with it natural language technology that nicely complements other natural language processing technologies we have in Microsoft Research.

More importantly, Powerset brings to Live Search a set of talented engineers and computational linguists in downtown San Francisco. This is a great team with a wide range of experience from other search engines and research organizations like PARC (formerly Xerox PARC).

Powerset explains on its blog, why they decided to sell to Microsoft…

Rumor Mill: Microsoft Expecting $100M Powerset Acquisition to Save the Day?

Just six weeks after its coming out parade, natural language search engine Powerset is the subject of two rumors about its acquisition by Microsoft.

VentureBeat kicks things off, by telling us the deal has been done, and the purchase price $100 million.

Microsoft, the software giant flush with billions of dollars in its warchest, has agreed to buy Silicon Valley semantic search engine Powerset, we’ve learned.

The purchase price is rumored to be slightly more than $100 million. An announcement is expected next month.

As if annoyed that VentureBeat might have gotten the scoop, TechCrunch reports the deal is not actually final.

Our sources have been saying this deal is highly likely since May, but hasn’t actually been signed yet and could still be disrupted by the ongoing Microsoft-Yahoo negotiations.

Five Reasons I’m Not Going Gaga Over Powerset

There’s a buzz in the blogosphere over the launch of Powerset, a natural language processing search engine that uses Wikipedia for its index. Either I’ve not had enough coffee this morning or I’m the only one that’s asking these pointed questions.

  1. Didn’t Ask.com try natural language search? Didn’t it fail?
  2. Didn’t Google spend the last 10 years conditioning search engine users to use a handful of keywords–not natural language?
  3. Isn’t Wikipedia made up of just 2.3 million pages, while Google’s index is likely 40+ billion? Even I could build a search engine that scales to 2.5 million edited and organized web pages.
  4. If Powerset is licensing its natural language technology from Xerox PARC and its index from Wikipedia, where’s the value? What’s to stop Google or Microsoft from licensing the same technology?

Microsoft’s Live Search Starts Integrating Powerset Features

I’ll admit, I expected it would take Microsoft a lot longer to start integrating Powerset’s search technology with Live Search–but the company is announcing the first of the new features.

Freebase Answers Integration

First-up, Live Search Answers will use Powerset to bring in results from Freebase Answers. Freebase looks to be a cross between Wikipedia and Google’s Knols.

Better Wikipedia Captions

I’d hardly call this exciting, but apparently some of the $200 million paid for Powerset will help Live Search better display Wikipedia results. [Yawn!]

Related Searches

"Related searches" have been around for eons. Still, Microsoft is excited to join the year 2008, with Powerset’s Factz.

A Cuil $200 Million

Remember Cuil? No, not “quill,” “cool” as spelled by . . . I don’t know, monkeys. Perhaps I’m the only one having trouble remembering the latest, much-hyped not-quite-Google-killer because I was still in the hospital (here’s why) when it launched (although I did guest blog about Cuil at Bruce Clay, and I still managed to forget what Cuil was…).

Even if Cuil’s launch didn’t go over so well, they lost VP Louis Monier and they aren’t getting traffic, Cuil founders still have a reason to laugh all the way to the bank: a $200 million valuation according to PE Data Center.

Heck, it makes me want to laugh, too. VentureBeat adds some perspective by comparing Cuil’s finances to Powerset‘s:

Microsoft Loses Key Bing Developer to eBay

It seems that Microsoft’s taking three steps forward and one step back, with its hiring of other companies’ employees. It just lost Hugh Williams to eBay.

He left Microsoft to become vice president of development for search for the auction site and, judging by Williams’ LinkedIn profile, eBay gains the guy that helped created Bing:

I was a Partner at Microsoft, and a development manager in the Bing team. I’m proud to say that many of the features of the first Bing release were created by my team.

I managed the development of all user-facing web search relevance features, including the left-rail explore pane (with its "table of contents"), navigational query treatments, query-biased summaries, "deeplinks", related searches, and whole page results relevance. Additionally, I managed the Powerset team in San Francisco.

Microsoft Bottoms Out in Search Race

Microsoft is sure making a lot of news in search these days. As reported here earlier the new look search of Kumo is lurking about although Microsoft is acting like Kumo is some kind of hallucination that deserves a homepage.google-cartoon

Now add to that the news reported in a Computerworld article regarding the U.S. market share of the major search engines. It appears that Microsoft’s share is at a 12 month low which is, well, not real good. Microsoft may be asking “Where’s that darn Kumo thing anyway? Maybe that really will help? It certainly can’t hurt at this point.”

Here’s the scorecard:

Google 63.3 %
Yahoo 21 %
Microsoft 8.2%
Ask 4.1%
AOL 3.9%