Microsoft Gobbles Natural Learning Search Specialist Powerset; Watch Out Google

The search engine world could be the set for yet another fierce battle between Google and Microsoft as the later announced its acquisition of Powerset which will join Microsoft's Live Search stable.

Although details of the agreement have not been disclosed, rumours put the price Microsoft paid for the startup at more than £50 million.

Powerset has been hailed as an important actor in the promising field of natural language search but has been going through some tough times after its CEO left the company in November 2007

In a statement following the announcement of the acquisition, Powerset said that it needed to grow to the next stage by joining in a bigger entity and Microsoft reckons that powerset could actually be used to take its search functionalities to the next level.

Semantic searching is what it is all about though and Microsoft has purchased not only technology superior to its own but also brings in a team of experienced engineers and computational linguists.

Microsoft had also been attempting to acquiring Yahoo's search business in the past few months; attempts that have been futile though and the firm also purchased another Norway-based search company, Fast Search and Transfer, earlier this year for USD 1.2 billion.

The purchase also raises the prospect of further acquisitions of Powerset Competitors like Hakia or Lexxe.