January 8, 2008

FAST Aqcuired by Microsoft

Microsoft made a $1.2 Billion bid to aqcuire Fast Search & Transfer.

FAST provides search technology to many sites you may be unaware of. Some of the local search sites that use it, for example, include Citysearch and YellowPages.com.

Microsoft says:

In addition to bolstering Microsoft’s enterprise search efforts, this acquisition increases Microsoft’s research and development presence in Europe

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January 1, 2008

WhatsOpen Launches

So it seems WhatsOpen has finally launched.

It’s a site where users can search for what’s open. Type in your location and what you’re looking for (i.e. a coffee shop) and get search results of what’s currently open.

It’s a perfect fit for a mobile application.

Adena Schutzberg notes the following:

The writer at Local Tech Wire (WRAL - Raleigh/Durham, NC) notes it looks pretty good for his known orbit of coffee shops, but points out his favorite mexican places don’t show up in searches for burritos. I searched for “coffee” in “modesto” and learned about the Coffee Family Dental. Also annoying: hours do not seem to be day of the week dependent. I bet that dentist’s office is not open on Sunday, for example.

The site shows hours on the left without any mention of the day of the week. It’s entirely possible that they do factor day of the week in but only display the hours for “today” in order to save space in their UI. However, when I searched for coffee shops near my house, I got results for what appears to be all coffee shops in my area. I searched at 8:30 am and got business that weren’t opening until 10am or later (according to their left nav results).

I love the concept for mobile devices. As a matter of fact, we have been working on this for a while now at YellowBot. We’re currently building and testing internally but we have exposed part of it for more user feedback. You can go to the iPhone YellowBot site and start checking results where, next to the hours, you’ll be told if the business is opened, closed, opening soon, etc…and, it is day of the week dependent.

We’ll be releasing the “search by what is currently open” functionality shortly (and are debating whether to default to this behavior on mobile devices) hopefully soon if we don’t reprioritize based on upcoming projects.

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