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.

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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

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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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  • http://www.tcampbell.net 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.

  • http://omadsense.com 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.

  • http://www.antezeta.com/blog/ Sean Carlos

    Silverlight is unavailable for Linux. This seems like unhappy old history being repeated. There is an alternative project, Moonlight [http://www.mono-project.com/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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