Microsoft is holding a three-hour "Searchification" event at its Silicon Valley campus on September 26 that seems like it will be the launch pad for the next version of Microsoft's Live Search service.
(I say "seems" because the actual invite has next-to-no details about what's going to happen at the event -- beyond that it will include "a discussion about the future of the (search) product.")
Microsoft officials have said since earlier this year that they were planning to launch Live Search 2.0 some time this fall. Going forward, Microsoft is planning to do a Search refresh every spring and fall, according to Search chief Satya Nadella.
I've gotten a few tips about Live Search enhancements upon which Microsoft has been laboring -- some of which might be discussed or shown at the upcoming Searchification event. Tipsters have said to watch for:
- New personalization capabilities integrated into Live Search
- An integrated location/calendar/presence service that may also tie in with Live Search 2.0
- A new capability integrating social networks, annotation (ratings and reviews) and search
- Future integration between Outlook and Live Search
(Not surprisingly, Microsoft isn't yet ready to talk publicly about Live Search 2.0 dates or features. So these tips are all unconfirmed. I'm just sharing what I've heard from readers.)
At Microsoft's company meeting for its employees in Seattle on September 5, Microsoft demonstrated Live Search 2.0, according to various attendees. The comments on the Live Search Company Meeting demo so far have been quite positive, which is not a given (especially on sites that attract a lot of anonymous comments allegedly from Microsoft employees, like Mini Microsoft).
Speaking of the company meeting, it sounds from various attendees that CEO Steve Ballmer gave a good speech, admitting that Microsoft needs to grow its tolerance for risk-taking. Posters noted that Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie presented, yet again, on the importance of Software + Services to Microsoft's future. Lots of complaints about too many lengthy demos.