Microsoft wants to index all the world's information, too, with Fact Index

Microsoft wants to index all the world's information, too, with Fact Index

Summary: Microsoft's Fact Index project is designed to "index every database in the world and expose it in a structured, strongly typed fashion," according to the LinkedIn profile of the head of the project.

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Google has made no bones about its not-so-modest intention to "organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful."

It turns out, unsurprisingly, Microsoft has similar ambitions and is planning to "index every database in the world and expose it in a structured, strongly typed fashion."

Microsoft is planning to achieve this lofty goal via the Fact Index. Chris Anderson, a Senior Development Lead on the Live Search Developer team, is leading the Fact Index project (according to Anderson's LinkedIn profile). Anderson describes the Fact Index this way:

"The fact index is Live Search’s next generation platform for serving structured data. The goal of this team is simple: index every database in the world and expose it in a structured, strongly typed fashion. The first iteration of the fact index allows anyone with an XML feed (schema not required) and some sample queries to contribute to search relevance without even writing any code. Subsequent iterations will include querying across multiple data sources, aggregating, merging, and deduping data from multiple providers, and a host of other hard information retrieval problems."

(Note: This Chris W. Anderson is not the same Chris Anderson who was an architect on the Windows Client Platform team working on Avalon, a k a Windows Presentation Foundation. Prior to working on Fact Index, Chris W. Anderson worked on Encarta, according to his bio, where he helped with "CD product, content management sysetm, SQL DBA, web service, web site."

Anderson's LinkedIn profile still uses the "Live Search" terminology, rather than "Bing." His profile notes that  he's been working on Fact Index since 2005...  When I asked a Microsoft spokesperson for more information on Fact Index and Anderson's work on it, I was told that the "Live Search" reference was nothing other than Anderson not updating his LinkedIn profile. The spokesperson didn't comment at all about Fact Index.

In other Microsoft search news, comScore's U.S. search-share data for March is out. Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in March with 65.7 percent market share (up 0.3 percentage points from February 2011), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 15.7 percent (down 0.4 percent) and Microsoft sites with 13.9 percent (up 0.3 percentage points). That means the combined MicroHoo (Microsoft + Yahoo) U.S. search share dropped slightly between February and March, from 29.7 percent, to 29.6 percent.

Topics: Windows, CXO, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, IT Employment

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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51 comments
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  • What about Microhoo revenue?

    Does Microsoft collect search revenue from Yahoo? What percent?
    HollywoodDog
  • M$ and 'fact index' do not match!

    M$ is an incompetent and a liar, so the 'fact index' will be either useless either full of lies and BS!
    Linux Geek
    • Message has been deleted.

      JAlva05
      • Message has been deleted.

        Will Farrell
      • Message has been deleted.

        The Danger is Microsoft
      • Message has been deleted.

        jessiethe3rd
      • Message has been deleted.

        Ram U
    • Message has been deleted.

      jessiethe3rd
    • Message has been deleted.

      ItsTheBottomLine
      • RE: Microsoft wants to index all the world's information, too, with Fact Index

        It's the same old arguement that the linux geeks uses blah blah blah no wonder they don't have much of a life... move on, get a life seriously.....

        btw Gates has given away over $30 billion out of his own pocket, not microsofts pocket, how much has the whole linux community combined given???? sweat F all.
        peter010908
    • RE: Microsoft wants to index all the world's information, too, with Fact Index

      Resistance is futile!
      john_gillespie@...
  • RE: Microsoft wants to index all the world's information, too, with Fact Index

    What is the criteria for a database to be indexed and exposed? I thought certain databases were private (paid subscription social sites) or protected under Federal Regulation (HIPPA).
    jimcooperftl@...
    • RE: Microsoft wants to index all the world's information, too, with Fact Index

      @jimcooperftl@... <br><br>There won't be any privacy. This is due to greedy companies selling your personal information, and not compensating you for it.<br><br>It's all about the money.<br><br>Let's pass a law that says no one is allowed to make ANY money off of the indexing. Then see just how fast they can the idea.<br><br>Note: even if they want tin index everything, many sites won't allow it due to pricing and their own version of privacy. They would just block the bots and crawlers.<br><br>Using an HTTPS is another way around the privacy issues since no one is supposed to see the transaction between you and the other party.<br><br>Too bad the entire Internet can't be this way (HTTPS).

      PS what if the information they call a fact isn't a fact? Would Microsoft then be fully liable?
      zolar_1@...
      • RE: Microsoft wants to index all the world's information, too, with Fact Index

        @zolar_1@...
        I hope if this goes forward that more than one company does it to the same standard. Otherwise MS will find a way to charge us for any information.
        I think we need an internet law that states if someone knowingly post a non-fact without stating so should be liable for any and all damages to anybody or company. Rather it be a cause of physical damage or damage to a persons reputation.
        kgreports@...
    • RE: Microsoft wants to index all the world's information, too, with Fact Index

      @jimcooperftl@... I know HIPPA is still protected under federal regualation. Anyone found getting personal info from patients will be in deep!
      EJCServant@...
  • RE: Microsoft wants to index all the world's information, too, with Fact Index

    How to reply?
    ClaudeRenaud
    • RE: Microsoft wants to index all the world's information, too, with Fact Index

      @ClaudeRenaud
      In English. In 20 years: In Chinese.
      d.s.williams
  • Bing

    Since Bing has been so "successful", MS has decided to move onto bigger and better things. Are you pondering what I'm pondering?
    davidr69
  • RE: Microsoft wants to index all the world's information, too, with Fact Index

    Why don't they just index their website better so I can find something easily with their search, instead of my having to rely on Google to find the info inside Microsoft's web site?
    dan@...
    • RE: Microsoft wants to index all the world's information, too, with Fact Index

      @dan@...

      Touch?!
      jasonjeske