Wednesday, July 02, 2008

FT.com / Companies / Media & internet - Microsoft deal steps up rivalry with Google

Yet more on MS/Powerset

Microsoft turned up the heat on Tuesday in its technological rivalry with Google as it announced the purchase of a private Silicon Valley company that has developed one of the most promising, and controversial, new internet search tools of recent years.

[...]

However, critics claim that the technology, which has been something of a Holy Grail for search companies, is still years ahead of its time, and even that it raises philosophical questions about the nature of language.

Barney Pell, chief technology officer of Powerset, on Tuesday rejected those charges, and claimed that the goal of a full natural-language powered search of the entire Web was “absolutely within reach”. Powerset itself, which has based its service on technology licensed from Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center, recently launched a narrow working test of its service to index the content of Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.

It would be interesting to pull together lists of all of the Xerox PARC technology that has directly or indirectly found its way into Apple and Microsoft...

FT.com / Companies / Media & internet - Microsoft deal steps up rivalry with Google

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