Germans Bail From Quaero Partnership

    December 20, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

France and Germany had great plans to take on Google for search engine dominance, but the French will have to go it alone as Germany withdraws from the project.

Goodbye, Quaero. Hello, Theseus.

That’s the message from Germany’s economic minister, who disclosed the awful truth about the Quaero move at a Potsdam IT summit:

He said (translating) “The co-operation is at an end and although we won’t be cutting all ties, the project will in future be a national German project with the political and economic aims of this summit.”

Apparently, the co-operation had “Not been easy.” reports that Hartmut Schauerte said the French were more interested in pursuing a ‘conventional search engine’ whereas the German Government expressly did not want to go into direct competition with Google and others and wanted to concentrate more on the development of the semantic web.

World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee has been a proponent of the semantic web for several years, where concept and structure of content mean as much as the content alone.

TechWorld noted that the French will continue to tilt at the Google windmill, however:

“The Quaero file is not closed,” said a spokeswoman for the French Agency for Industrial Innovation (AII), which funds research for the French Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry. “There are still German partners involved in the Quaero project (but) the configuration of partners will change. When you work on something international, it’s more complicated than when it’s just the French involved.”

Germany, it appears, has recognized the writing on the wall when it comes to contextual search. Their Theseus project will aim for the semantic web, which is just as well since Google dominates in European markets just as it does in the United States. Running at that buzzsaw never looked like a prudent idea.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.