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Search Upstart Powerset Teams with PARC Vs. Google

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 9, 2007

Powerset, the natural-language search startup I wrote about in my story on’s digital-utility initiatives, has signed a deal with the (former Xerox) PARC in an attempt to one-up Google in search. VentureBeat’s Matt Marshall broke the news last night, and the New York Times has a story today. PARC will license its own natural-language technology to Powerset and PARC researcher Ronald Kaplan will join Powerset as chief technology officer.

I haven’t seen Powerset’s search engine, so I can’t vouch for how much of a breakthrough it may turn out to be—it’s not out for public use yet. But I do think search is far from a solved problem yet. Powerset must feel it has pretty hot technology. Given how publicly it’s baiting the Google tiger, it had better be.

Reader Comments


February 9, 2007 4:15 PM

I wish them well on the whole "one-upping" Google.


February 11, 2007 1:06 AM

Powerset drew a lot of attention lately. There is a same-level NLP start-up which is live for public alpha test at and the site gives some useful explanation on how NLP is different from symbolic search. Take a look!


February 14, 2007 7:18 PM

Is this for real?


February 14, 2007 7:26 PM

I did not know that :-)

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