Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) acquired Powerset for a rumored $100 million on July 1st. Since then Microsoft and Powerset have been working away to integrate search technologies into Live Search. Some of the integration projects include Freebase Answers, improved captions for Wikipedia results on Live Search, and related searches. These features are only available for several results and users. Depending on the feedback, Live Search will keep the best features and remove the rest of them.
Powerset uses technologies uses xRank for biographies and Factz to to display better related search results. Microsoft originally bought Powerset in an effort to compete with Google search relevance. From an overall brand perspective, Microsoft has a long way to go in order to compete with Google for search engine market-share.
Apparently Microsoft has opened up their fat wallet to bring more users to Live Search. Microsoft made a deal with HP to have the Windows Live Toolbar preinstalled on PCs. Microsoft also hired Kowabunga to have affiliates push the downloading of Windows Live Toolbar. Microsoft is willing to pay $2.50 per download of the Toolbar.
Dr. Scott Prevost, General Manager of Powerset and Dr. Hugh Williams, Primary Development Manager of Live Search published additional details on the Powerset blog.