Viveri: Microsoft Research Preps Experimental Search Site
Article by George Norman
On 26 Feb 2009
The simple fact that Live Search was not a big hit with internauts all over the world and consequently users had to be baited in did not deter Microsoft from the prospect of online search. Following the release of the Live Search Firefox add-on, Microsoft Research announces Viveri, an experimental search site that is currently “under construction” – users are cordially invited to check out U Rank in the meanwhile.

Viveri, which Microsoft showcased at the TechFest event and is due to come out this summer, is meant to test search concepts. What I mean by that is that Viveri will let researchers test the concepts they come up with, present these concepts to the public and see how users react to them. User feedback will reach Microsoft researchers without them having to make any changes or add any new features to Live Search.

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“Most people are not going to want to have their lives interrupted by the latest wacky idea we have. But some people will, and their feedback will help us figure out which ones aren't so wacky,” explains Microsoft Research software architect, Robert Rounthwaite.

Think of it as a test lab: someone comes up with a new idea, presents it to the world, and if people really like it then it will be integrated in Live Search. If the idea turns out to be a flop, it will not harm Live Search in any way since Viveri is a standalone research search engine. It all depends on what the users like and need, on the feedback they provide.

According to Robert Rounthwaite, you should compare the situation to the auto industry. A car maker brings out various models, but every once in a while it also brings out a concept car. Viveri is the concept car, Live Search is the production car.



Tags: Microsoft, Live Search, Viveri
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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