Gates on search

Gates on search.  USA Today interviews Bill Gates, and there's an interesting example for Microsoft's recent interest in search technologies: “Say you keep lists. Anytime that you've mentioned a restaurant, it automatically goes onto this list of restaurants, and your system would automatically keep track of what are the hours there, how that menu has changed. If you've mentioned a stock, it just goes on this list. It will keep track of what the price is, what's going on there. If you've mentioned a movie, keep track of is that in the theaters,, is that out on video, what have the reviews of that been? So ? all these different things.” In Google we can use a “site:” qualifier to limit searching to a single website, but what we really could use is a “person:” qualifier to limit searching to all that a person ever previously seen or spoken about. The browser could do this to a degree by crosschecking with its History, but a regular metasearch tackes time and not everything goes through the browser, so the operating system seems a logical place for such a job. (I think I'm pulling the correct meaning from the transcribed speech but could be wrong… “So — all these different things” leaves a bit of a gap.) He also mentions synching info across devices (similar to Apple's .MAC) and managing offline connectivity (one of the goals behind Macromedia Central). There are a dozen pages overall in this interview… I haven't read 'em all, but plan to, because it's good to harvest the resulting public posture from all the investment and engineering analysis that makes up Microsoft. [JD on MX]

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