Google Challenger Opens Public Test

A feisty startup from San Francisco has just opened its site to public testing. Hoping to take a bite out of Google's Microsoft-esque lock on Internet searching, Powerset is using a natural-language approach, which could be more appealing than the keyword approach currently used by the Googlers.

The 2-year-old Powerset has licensed the natural-language processing technology it uses, which was actually developed more than 30 years ago within the hallowed halls of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). This approach reads every sentence, rather than just plucking out key words.

Powerset says it's going to invite hundreds to take its site (http://www.powerset.com) for a test drive. That large-scale beta testing should help the company fine-tune its algorithms before its full, official launch some time next year.

Once again, competition is good. How do you search? Google? Yahoo? Something else? What's important to you in a search engine? Find me at llow@redmondmag.com and let me know.

Posted by Lafe Low on September 19, 2007 at 11:57 AM