Yesterday Microsoft announced the acquisition of Powerset, a San Francisco-based search and natural language company. This had been rumored already by some and so now it’s a fact. Today this news is all over on Techmeme mixed with yet new rumors about Yahoo buy-outs, partnership, acquisitions, etc etc… Don Dodge notices this as well and gives a good view on why Powerset really is of such importance to us:
“Powerset understands the intent of the query, but more importantly, it understands the meaning and context of all the relevant web pages. Rather than just match keywords from the query, Powerset looks for "semantic" matches in its index of billions of web pages.”
Looking forward to the first integration results of that. If that will happen as fast as how the search team integrated Farecast into Live Search, then expect to see results soon. But since it’s related to indexing etc it’ll most probably will take a bit longer than that.
Also think about the impact of this acquisition way beyond just Live Search. Sharepoint, Enterprise search, … this technology can add a lot of value in more than one area. Remember the acquisition of Seadragon as a good example of that. Today what came out of that technology is used in Seadragon browser, Photosynth, DeepZoom and more to come.