Microsoft Confirms Powerset Acquisition

Natural language search becoming a priority

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Satya Nadella, the senior vice president of Microsoft’s Search, Portal & Advertising Platform Group, isn’t afraid to admit that the current crop of search engines suffer from some problems.  Nadella seems to be hoping, however, that his company’s acquisition of Powerset will help it solve them.

Satya Nadella
 Satya Nadella

Yes, Microsoft and Powerset are fessing up to the deal that was discovered last week.  Perhaps since the younger company’s abilities remain somewhat unproven, Nadella writes on the Live Search blog, "We’re buying Powerset first and foremost because we’re impressed with the people there."

He also didn’t get into the issue of price, which leaves us with the $100 million estimate from earlier.

Yet natural language search will be quite important to Microsoft as Nadella later mentioned a "shared vision . . . to take Search to the next level by adding understanding of the intent and meaning behind the words in searches and webpages."  And a sizable portion of Microsoft’s resources should be brought to bear on developing Powerset’s technology.

Powerset’s team and headquarters will remain intact in San Francisco.

Microsoft Confirms Powerset Acquisition
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