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Search Interfaces Evolving At Microsoft Research

Collaboration on search is the theme

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New technologies in development at Microsoft’s Research division appeared on display at the company’s TechFest; three search-related products were part of the mix.

Search and everything else likely experienced some overshadowing from the buzz about Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope, a piece of software for bringing real-world ground and space telescopes to one’s desktop.

But search had its time at Tech Fest, as a trio of technologies received mention. One, called CoSearch, allows groups of people to collectively use a single remote PC by using their mobile phones as input devices.

The second project, SearchTogether, arrives this spring as an Internet Explorer plug-in. SearchTogether enables collaborative searching while providing group features like comment and rating sharing, and distribution of search results automatically.

Microsoft’s Search Bar will address what the Research people see as a problem with conducting searches over a period of time, with occasional interruptions:

SearchBar is a new type of browser history that supports complex Web investigations by assisting with task resumption and information re-finding. SearchBar accomplishes these goals by proactively and persistently storing query histories, browsing histories, notes, and ratings in an interrelated fashion.

The list of projects at Tech Fest provides an interesting look into what Microsoft sees as issues technology can address. One other project of passing interest this election year: BLEWS, a political aggregator that looks at blogs written from various viewpoints and “indicates the level of emotional charge in the discussion of the news story or topic at hand in both political camps.”

Search Interfaces Evolving At Microsoft Research
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