Microsoft’s Socl.com Is Alive & Well & Turning Search Results Into Social Content

microsoft-logo Microsoft's search/social hybrid project is alive and well and, if current reports are to be believed, may be headed toward some kind of private beta test in the near future. If you were with us back in July, you might recall the small firestorm that burned for a couple days after news spread about Socl.com. At the time, it was called Tulalip and, when Microsoft published a very early version of the site, the home page promised a way to "Find what you need and Share what you know easier than ever." At the time, Microsoft described it as an "internal project" and said publishing it was an [...]


Microsoft Tulalip: Is A New Social/Search Hybrid On The Way?

socl.com-homepage It appears that Microsoft is planning a new project called Tulalip and could be positioning it as a hybrid search/social networking service. First reported by Fusible, Tulalip currently sits on the SOCL.com domain, which is owned by Microsoft. You can see the socl.com WHOIS record on DomainTools to confirm. Tulalip currently only offers a "welcome" message that explains itself this way: With Tulalip you can Find what you need and Share what you know easier than ever. There's a non-functioning search box at the top of the page, preceded (mysteriously) by the word "OPEN." There ar [...]


Microsoft’s Bing Vs Google: Head To Head Search Results

Let's just get it out of the way: no, Bing is not a "Google Killer." It's also safe to say that Microsoft doesn't see it that way either. My understanding of what Microsoft believes it has in Bing is a much more competitive product than Live Search. I entirely agree. Over the course of the next two or three weeks there will be countless articles and blog posts discussing Bing and whether or not it can dethrone Google. Microsoft has told me that the company sees Bing as a start (or restart) and that improvements will continue to roll out over time. One can be skeptical of that position or no [...]


Microsoft Demo Fest Shows Off New Ideas, Reporter Not Impressed

Last month, Microsoft researchers from around the world showed off some of their most unique creations at the company's TechFest 2009 event in Redmond. This month, a smaller group of Microsoft researchers took part in the 5th "Demo Fest" event -- a smaller event that's designed for researchers from adCenter Labs to show off their latest ideas. The company let reporters in on Wednesday to see four of the new Demo Fest technologies, and the Seattle Times' writer was not impressed. "The demos I saw were not jaw-dropping. The concepts seemed to echo things we'd seen elsewhere or things I w [...]


Microsoft’s TechFest 2009 Is A Search Playground

Hundreds of Microsoft researchers from around the world gathered at company headquarters in Redmond this week for TechFest 2009, a chance to share ideas and show off their latest creations. Although Microsoft emphasizes that there are no plans to bring any of this technology into Live Search, some of the interesting ideas were featured this week on the Live Search blog. Here are two that caught my eye: Opinion Search Microsoft's existing Opinion Index in Live Search was built from this technology, but the version demoed at TechFest takes the collection, storage, and organization [...]


Will the “Deep Web” Slay Google?

There are arguably two parallel tracks in the "what will succeed Google?" meme. An emerging one is "will the feds intervene to block Google?" The second is much older and involves the hypothetical "semantic web" or sometimes "deep web." Essentially this asks, "who will do search better than Google?" (A third line of argument might surround "social search.") Two pieces in two days in the NY Times reflect the two former strands. The first article is Everyone Loves Google, Until It’s Too Big and picks up on the monopoly discussion. I responded over the weekend on my personal blog Screenwerk. [...]


Dilbert’s Scott Adams: Will Google Replace Your Doctor?

Can a search engine accurately diagnose health problems? Can it someday replace your doctor? Questions like this aren't new, but the discussion has gotten a bit louder in recent weeks. Just a couple weeks ago, I reported on a Microsoft investigation of cyberchondria, when inaccurate medical information online makes actual health problems worse. On Friday, Dilbert cartoon creator Scott Adams shared a different point of view, telling blog readers how Google helped him find treatment for a speech defect known as Spasmodic Dysphonia. More specifically, Adams was using Google Alerts to get i [...]


Cyberchondria: When Web Search Makes You Sick(er)

Those muscle twitches you get probably aren't a sign that you have ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, aka "Lou Gehrig's Disease"). But if you're using search engines to diagnose what ails you, there's a chance you'll come to that conclusion. In a new paper, Microsoft investigates cyberchondria: "... the unfounded escalation of concerns about common symptomatology, based on the review of search results and literature on the Web." Microsoft researchers Ryen White and Eric Horvitz studied a 40-million page sample of search results (from Live Search) and surveyed 500 Microsoft employees abo [...]


Searching For Olympics News And Video

The Olympics are now officially under way. One of the unofficial competitions is among the search engines and companion sites to offer scores, updates and coverage of the games. Below is a roundup of where you can keep track of the medal count and watch your favorite action online. Google: Google has an Olympics homepage that showcases a range of services and tools to keep track of events, including an iGoogle gadget. Depending on what country you're in, there are different YouTube channels. And there's a mobile site. Google is also offering special OneBox results for individual Olympic [...]


Microsoft Joins The Social Bookmarking Game

Microsoft's John Martin has shared a preview of the new Microsoft social bookmarking tool that will be demonstrated at the TechEd North America event in the upcoming week. John provided a shortlist of features and two screen captures of the social bookmarking tool at his blog post. Based on the limited detail I can see, the tool is not all that innovative when compared to Delicious and other social bookmarking tools out there today. It seems that you can bookmark any URL across the web then apply tags to those URLs and also save the bookmarks in the "new My Bookmarks tool." The screen sho [...]


Microsoft’s Worldwide Telescope Application Blasts Onto The Desktop

Microsoft has launched (an appropriate metaphor this time) its Worldwide Telescope desktop application. You must download the software, but then you're treated to a beautiful array of images and "guided tours" of the cosmos (see screenshots below). Intended for science education, "Worldwide Telescope stitches together terabytes of high-resolution images of celestial bodies, and displays them in a way that relates to their actual position in the sky." According to Microsoft, the mission of Worldwide Telescope is: --To aggregate scientific data from major telescopes, observatories and institu [...]


Microsoft Buys Danger

Microsoft has acquired Danger, Inc., maker of the T-mobile "Sidekick" device and the Danger operating system and platform. Danger has been hailed as highly innovative and its platform and OS pre-dates the iPhone (the company was founded in 2000). There's a bit of an irony here in that Danger was co-founded by Andy Rubin, who is the chief architect behind Google's Android, which is competing with Windows Mobile as a platform. Although innovative, Danger is a money losing enterprise at this point. But Microsoft believes that Danger and its OS can offer an improved mobile development platform a [...]


Microsoft Launches Windows Live Translator

The LiveSide blog points to a blog post which shows Microsoft has launched Windows Live Translator Beta. You can translate from English to German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian. It supports up to 500 characters and uses Systran, but can override the Systran source with their own in-house translations. Google Operating System goes deeper into this translation service. Aside from Microsoft, there's the classic Babel Fish translation service, which Yahoo acquired. Also, Google offers translate services, which were recently upgraded, as d [...]


Google, Microsoft Moving Forward With Health Ventures

The International Herald Tribune reports (story also in the NY Times) on new developments at both Google and Microsoft concerning their health product strategies. The long-rumored Google Health is apparently almost here. (See screenshots at Google Blogoscoped.) Health care-related advertising and marketing is a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S. and Google and Microsoft are seeking to get a chunk of that spending. There's also high consumer demand for the information. At the same time, however, there are challenging issues surrounding government regulation, as well as issues of consumer [...]


Microsoft Buys CareerBuilder; Google Interested In SimplyHired

Microsoft buys stake in CareerBuilder from News.com reports that Microsoft has purchased a minority equity stake in CareerBuilder.com, a job search site. In addition, CareerBuilder and MSN Careers have continued their partnership deal where CareerBuilder will be the exclusive job search engine for MSN Careers. Earlier this week, Google In Talks To Acquire SimplyHired from TechCrunch reported that Google was in talks with SimplyHired, another job search engine. Dion Lim, the president of SimplyHired told Techcrunch that there is "lots of interest in us," when asked about the Google acquisitio [...]


Microsoft Buys EU Mobile Ad Firm ScreenTonic

Microsoft announced earlier today that it had acquired six-year-old European mobile ad platform company ScreenTonic. Last February, Microsoft acquired European mobile search provider MotionBridge. This past March Microsoft bought Tellme. Thus, the company is putting together an impressive suite of mobile assets for both consumers and carriers. Microsoft said it intends to deploy the ScreenTonic technology globally. And while Google and Yahoo are largely perceived as threats to carriers (justified to some degree by recent consumer research from iCrossing), Microsoft is seeking to position its [...]


Microsoft To Buy Health Search Engine Medstory Inc.

Microsoft to Buy Health Information Search Engine at the New York Times reports that Microsoft is buying the Medstory health search engine. Microsoft plans on building out a specialized search engine focused on delivering medical information to consumers, the story reports. There are a number of health search engines including the leader: WebMD, RevolutionHealth, Google is working one up with Adam Bosworth, and some smaller players. Postscript: Here is the Microsoft press release. [...]


Windows Live Shopping Goes Offline

Brian Smith reports that Windows Live Shopping has been taken offline. The message on the Windows Live Shopping says: This beta test has now ended. Thank you for visiting the Windows Live Shopping beta and helping us test the site. Our vast product selection and user-created content, such as guides and reviews, continues to be available through the MSN Shopping site. You will be redirected to MSN Shopping automatically in 8 seconds. Windows Live Shopping Beta launched on April 28, 2006. [...]


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