July 01, 2008
Microsoft Buys Powerset
For all the acquisitions that involve lengthy and painful negotiations, here's one that seems to have interested Microsoft fairly quickly and its easy to see why. InfoWeek today reports that Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) is planning to buy search startup Powerset for an undisclosed sum. Kudos to Barney Pell and team.
Powerset was written about even before its launch and even BusinessWeek writes an article entitled: Powerset: move over Google in September 2007. TechCrunch writes about its coming launch in April of this year.
In Hoover's article, he writes about what Powerset brings to the Microsoft table: "a new line of attack against Google, and one that doesn't rely on quickly gained economies of scale like an acquisition of Yahoo would. Instead, Powerset brings new technology to Microsoft: semantic search."
More on semantic search from Hoover's piece:
"Semantic or natural-language search relies on sentence structure, syntax, dictionaries, and thesauri to extract meaning from text, rather than relying on how heavily Web pages are linked to one another to determine the relevance of search results. Under Powerset's hood is decades-in-the-making natural-language processing technology the company licensed from the Palo Alto Research Center, formerly of Xerox (NYSE: XRX)."
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Microsoft innovating again by buying up technology. Earlier reports I saw estimated the buy price at about $100 million. Will MS get the execution right or will Powerset disappear into the software giant never to be heard of again?
Posted by: John C | Jul 1, 2008 7:35:30 PM