Kudos to both Microsoft and Powerset: "May the forceset be with you"
I think that Microsoft, Powerset deal is a great step and accomplishment for both companies.
For Microsoft this acquisition could help to offer something unique in the search arena. They are trying hard to fight their declining market share. This may be the way around Google.
Yet, it is even better deal for Powerset! In my opinion this is the right exit strategy for someone building, yet another, search engine today. Starting “cheap” by crawling Wikipedia only, apparently, was a very smart move. It is spam free and a data source rich with information. I’m sure that there will be an integration effort due to the different way that Powerset index text, yet, now they will be able to access a larger data source and reuse some of the already built infrastructure. This is aligned with merger as an exist strategy.
Ironically, there is another gain for Microsoft . They will be getting through the Powerset deal some of the former Yahoo’s search expert (like Tim Converse). I wonder if this recent move by Microsoft will change something in the Yahoo, Microsoft on-going merger deal discussions.
If you want to read more about Powerset and the deal read these two great posts by VentureBeat :