Microsoft Launches Experimental Search Site Tafiti

Built on its new Silverlight application, Microsoft last night released a new, experimental search site dubbed “Tafiti,” which means “do research” in Swahili. You’ll need to download Silverlight to use the engine, which offers a richer “visualization” of Microsoft Live search results.

It offers Web, RSS, image, news and book search presented in a rotating carousel. It also offers the ability to drag and save search results.



The most provocative (though perhaps impractical) aspect of Tafiti is its “Tree View” that literally indicates search results as leaves on a tree. Don’t see this as a serious search engine competitor, but rather an interesting interface experiment, which is where a great deal of innovation will undoubtedly take place over the next few years.

Postscript From Danny: I mostly thought this was unnecessary eye candy — fun to play with, but nothing particularly intuitive. The ability to drag and drop results into a scratchpad was neat, but you can do this with some services on Live Search already (images, last time I looked). But the news results display was cool — listings were put up as if they were on a newspaper page. Still, there was nothing intuitive about why one story was bigger than another.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Microsoft: Bing | Search Engines: Experimental


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • T Campbell

    Oh, my God, I can’t TELL you how long I’ve waited for a search interface that requires me to download yet another Microsoft product.

  • Omadsense

    Terrible, the minute I read the words “download” I was turned off. I can see that in truth, Microsoft we lag behind google until they change the way they try to do business online.

  • Sean Carlos

    Silverlight is unavailable for Linux. This seems like unhappy old history being repeated. There is an alternative project, Moonlight [], but it remains to be seen how viable it will be.

    Does the web really need another problematic proprietary plugin from a vendor not known for playing nice with the other kids? I think not.

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