Going semantic seems to be the right track. With the next revolution of the internet with Web 3.0 already dubbed as the “Semantic Web”. Google has been in the search field longer, and has much more data about people and their search patterns, so going semantic might not be as big a step for them. However if Microsoft has found the gaps present in the search engines of today and aims to create a search engine that fills all these gaps, they need to make sure not to introduce any gaps of their own. With their track record of progressively incorporating more bugs into each subsequent product version, this is what might be their biggest challenge.
The purse strings are loosening, and it appears as much as $80 to $100 million is likely to fall out, as Microsoft decides to boldly enter what is clearly Google's domain; Search. They intend to create a new search engine which they believe will show people what they've always been missing in search results. Although casual observer might ask “based on what experience”?
Search engines are the center of most people interaction with the web nowadays. For most, interaction with the Internet begins with the Google prompt, for many Google is synonymous for search. It is this giant that Microsoft aims not only reach parity with but also overtake. Is this even possible?
Google is a perfect example of a product that has sold itself, with people's attraction to it being more as result of it's usefulness than as a result of advertisement bombarded at them from all possible angles. With Microsoft's over $80 million advertisement budget for this venture, it wont be much of a problem for them to get people there, and with a name like “Bing” a few (including me) are sure to turn up just for the laughs. With Microsoft's hammer of money almost every nail becomes malleable. The question left to answer is how many people with stick.
Microsoft's is basing this search engine on data that people quite often don't refine search results enough, requiring multiple rounds of going back and forth with the search terms before getting the desired results. From what little information there is about “Bing” it seems to be a semantic search engine, with results that are sensitive to the context of the search terms stemming probably from their purchase of Powerset, which too was a semantic search engine.