Microsoft (so far) has been unable to buy Yahoo or Yahoo search assets, so it instead continues to take search talent away from the company. Last year Microsoft successfully lured engineering lead Qi Lu from Yahoo to become head of the company’s Online Services Group. Redmond also recently nabbed Sean Suchter from Yahoo.
Now Bloomberg and CNET report that another Yahoo executive, Larry Heck, will be working on Microsoft search. Heck was, until now, Vice President of the Search & Advertising Sciences at Yahoo Labs. Before that he was Vice President of R&D at Nuance Communications, “where he led teams responsible for natural language processing, speech recognition, voice authentication, and text-to-speech synthesis.”
This suggests more emphasis on voice search (read: mobile) at Microsoft. But the company has an overabundance of speech assets already, having acquired Tellme in March, 2007.