Natural Search Blog


Satya Nadella, 2nd Keynote at SES San Jose 08

Satya Nadella (Microsoft’s Senior Vice President of the Search, Portal & Advertising Platform Group) spoke at this morning’s keynote at the Search Engine Strategies Conference.

Sam Johnson quoted, Satya Nadella Microsoft Keynote, SES

Nadella spoke on how Microsoft approaches search and how the company intends to shape trends in search development and how they intend to exploit them.

Nadella shows current popular content in search: Michael Phelps

SMX LoMo Keynote: Gur Kimchi

Gur Kimchi, Principle Architect for Microsoft’s Virtual Earth, also spoke Thursday morning at the SMX Local & Mobile conference in San Francisco.

Gur Kimchi, Principal Architect, Microsoft Virtual Earth
Gur Kimchi, Principal Architect, Microsoft Virtual Earth

Gur provided a lot of demonstrations of existing and upcoming features from the Virtual Earth teams: (more…)

Google Presentation App: Presently

The Inquirer reports that Google may soon deploy slideshow presentation creation and display software which they’ll call “Presently”. This application was apparently developed out of code that Google got with their acquisition of Zenter and Tonic Systems earlier this year. The new presentation software will join the other Google Apps suite of products which include Google Spreadsheets, Google Write, and Gmail.

Google Presently

This is an interesting development… (more…)

Bill Gates Predicts Demise of Yellow Pages

Last week at the Microsoft Strategic Account Summit 2007, Bill Gates interacted with Microsoft’s Corporate VP and Chief Media Officer, Joanne Bradford in an interview/Q&A session, and he predicted that among those under 50, yellow pages usage would drop down to zero within five years!

Anti-Yellow-Pages

Now, he was apparently speaking solely about the print yellow pages, but the statement still seemed a tad bit bearish, considering that Microsoft is partnered closely with my former company, Idearc Superpages.com, one of the largest yellow pages companies (print or otherwise) in the world, to license the yellow pages data and service for use in Microsoft’s Live Local Search, and for the MSN Yellow Pages.

Now, Gates isn’t alone in predicting the demise of printed directories, since many others have also foreseen their eventual extinction, including me. But I think that other analysts out there have stated terms more in the ten-year range. Even if the numbers of some directories are declining, I still note that usage and sales are still very strong, so I’d be inclined to expect that print YP will likely go on for longer than five years.

It could be even longer, if there’s some more revolutionary tech introduced, such as I earlier suggested in “Could Nanotechnology Save Print Yellow Pages?

UPDATE: Don Dodge, Director of Business Development for Microsoft’s Emerging Business Team, also posted on his blog about the Summit, and he quoted a Seattle Times report which gave a further quote from Bill Gates about the yellow pages:

The traditional Yellow Pages are doomed as voice-activated Internet searches combined with on-screen interfaces on smart mobile devices get better and proliferate, Gates said. The company’s recent acquisition of voice-technology provider TellMe is accelerating the trend.

Dodge further states:

Microsoft’s recent acquisitions of MotionBridge and Screentonic, coupled with the acquisition of TellMe will support Gates vision of search and advertising on smart phones.

       

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