Microsoft Says Goodbye to Gates–and is Doing Just Fine, Thank You Very Much

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If there’s a mourning period surrounding Bill Gates’ departure, Microsoft isn’t showing it. Instead, the company is celebrating growth. According to a report from the UK Register,

Microsoft is continuing its rounds of the software singles scene after Yahoo!’s rejection of its overtures. The software giant is close to buying Silicon Valley semantic search engine company Powerset for around $100m, according to a report.

Venturebeat reports that Powerset, of San Francisco, has developed a technology that attempts to understand the full meanings of phrases you type in while searching, and it returns results based on that understanding.

The Register says Powerset has been valued at $42.5m, likes to describe itself as the “first truly robust semantic index of the web” and hopes one day to convince the world that its technology is better than Google’s ubiquitous internet search abilities.

In related acquisition news, Microsoft yesterday announced that it plans to buy mobile software developer MobiComp. Financial terms of the deal were kept secret. Braga, Portugal-based MobiComp specialises in mobile data protection and mobile posting of Web 2.0 content for the likes of Facebook et al. Microsoft said the company’s mobile platform will extend the capabilities of Windows Mobile and Windows Live.®

So Microsoft wants to exploit natural language search–which some find controversial–to get a leg up on Google. And it’s boosting its mobile platform. Sounds healthy to me, especially in light of Yahoo’s continued faltering.

Microsoft’s parting words to Gates? Buy, buy.

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