Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: bill

Message Too Old, No Replies

Microsoft and Powerset Deal?

11:50 am on Jun 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Administrator from GB 

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 9, 2000
votes: 533

Microsoft [washingtonpost.com]and Powerset Deal?
VentureBeat is reporting that Microsoft has agreed to buy semantic search engine Powerset for somewhere around $100 million, which is the price we previously reported was being offered to the company.

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.

1:36 pm on June 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Administrator from JP 

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 12, 2000
votes: 131

I'm not fully versed on Powerset. Could anyone fill me in?
7:29 am on July 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 10, 2006
votes: 0

Powerset's business 'profile'

..."Microsoft's acquisition of Powerset [if it does indeed go through] makes perfect sense and is probably the best shot at a disruptive technology that might allow it to leapfrog Google," says Andrei Hagiu, assistant professor of strategy, focusing on technology, at Harvard Business School.
Microsoft wants to buy Powerset, which is developing what it hopes is a smarter way to search the Web. Powerset uses so-called "semantic Web" technology that brings up results based on an understanding of a word's meaning and the context of its use. That's in contrast to the method used by the major search engines, which work primarily by matching words in queries to those on Web pages. News of Microsoft's interest in Powerset was reported June 26 by industry blog VentureBeat. According to the article, Microsoft has offered more than $100 million to acquire the company. A person close to Powerset says several search engines have expressed interest in the company and that a deal with Microsoft has not been finalized. Microsoft and Powerset spokespeople declined to comment.


6:25 pm on July 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 9, 2001
votes: 0

This actually makes a lot more sense to me than the mis-guided attempt to acquire Yahoo, which I'm glad fell through (for now at least), as we need more big players in the search field, not less. If MS had absorbed Yahoo, it was my fear that they would have simply ruined that company's position, not enhanced their own.

The public at large is not unhappy with Google, so there's no real reason for them to turn away from Google's method of traditional search. However if it's possible for MSN/LIVE to position itself as a true semantic search engine, then that will differentiate their service from Google -- achieving a level of "valuable uniqueness" is exactly what they need to stand out and pull in more visitors.

I wish them luck and success -- if they can pull this off, then they're back in the game, and we're all better for it.