Microsoft Experiments With Customized Results

Even If Google Already Did It

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You have to give it up to Microsoft for tenacity. The company’s been sound trounced by Google in search, yet they haven’t given up their search ambitions. Most recently, Microsoft has been conducting a search experiment called U Rank.

It’s not entirely original, of course. Google’s been experimenting with personalized search results for a while now. U Rank is accessible via existing members’ Windows Live ID.

U Rank applies the concept of social search by allowing users to adjust their search results to suit them and to allow them to annotate search results during research. There’s also a collaborative function that allows groups of people adjust results for whatever kind of group research project they may be working on. Friends/coworkers can also simply recommend results on specific topics.

Microsoft gives pretty thorough examples of how customized search results could be utilized, from organizing and annotating websites related to upcoming conferences, for keeping lists, for organizing tools used by groups of people, or for mixing multimedia results like video and images.
Microsoft Experiments With Customized Results
But it seems to me if Microsoft really wants to gain lost search ground to Google, the company’s going to have to be innovative on its own. There’s a famous South Park episode called “Simpsons Already Did It,” where one of the characters’ alter ego goes about town trying to cause mischief. He can’t come up with anything original because everything he thinks of already happened on The Simpsons.

Just call Microsoft “Professor Chaos,” then, even if we know it’s really Butters.

Microsoft Experiments With Customized Results
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