Microsoft are focussing on providing search facilities for their customers – after their changes to MSN Search, they’ve acquired Lookout, a company that makes searching technology for Outlook.
Outlook is an impressive diary, email and contacts program, and those who use it generate huge amounts for data – though searching through mails, appointments and addresses for details and information was never its strong point.
Microsoft have not released any details of the deal, and will not say how Lookout will be integrated in their products, but they have said that they intend to use the acquisition to improve services.
Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of MSN, said in a statement: “Our vision is to take search beyond today’s basic Internet search services to deliver direct answers to people’s questions, and help them find information from a broad range of sources.”
Having a fully featured internet search built into the operating system will be very convenient and this could be ominous news for Google who do not have the same potential for product integration that Microsoft have. Instead Google relies on visits to their portal, or on customers installing their tool bar.