May 12, 2008

Powerset is mildly interesting

Powerset has done a great job of generating buzz for it’s version of smart search. That said, its current demo is mediocre — and that’s being polite. Powerset currently indexes little more than just Wikipedia, and the quality of its search results is about comparable to that of Wikipedia’s justly reviled internal search engine. To determine this, I did searches on both sites on five strings. Wikipedia typically had more total junk ranking higher, but it also put the very best hits of all higher than Powerset did. The strings were:

Powerset does have a nice set of UI features in terms of automatic faceted search and so on, but these days who doesn’t?

Some discussion of Powerset:


4 Responses to “Powerset is mildly interesting”

  1. Ken Williams on May 12th, 2008 10:34 am

    Your title says “Powersoft”, is that just a thinko?

  2. Daniel Tunkelang on May 12th, 2008 11:08 am

    A better baseline comparison might be using Google or Yahoo site search, e.g., or vs.

    Searching Wikipedia just ain’t that hard. If Powerset wants to show off the advantages of natural language processing, they need to use a dataset that isn’t so amenable to keyword search–or to go after more complex use cases.

  3. Curt Monash on May 13th, 2008 3:43 am



    Corrected as soon as I noticed it in my own feed.


  4. Ron Miller on July 3rd, 2008 2:58 pm

    I think it’s a pretty big deal if only because Microsoft has bought ahead of the technology curve, rather than sitting back and waiting. I wrote about it today in my DaniWeb TechTreasures blog:

    Microsoft Shoots and Scores with Powersoft Purchase:

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