According to many news channels, including the New York Times, Microsoft has finally reached a deal with Yahoo to provide the search capability from Microsoft's new Bing! support software to Yahoo. This is the best deal Microsoft's Steve Balmer could salvage from his aborted attempt to acquire Yahoo.
The interesting thing, here, is that Bing! has been touted as more than a search engine-- a decision support engine. Decision support is critical to collaborative engineering and other scientific and engineering endeavors, as well as manufacturing and operations. Having a Web 2.0 enabled decision support engine goes a long way toward democratizing the tools that help us all.
As Bob Pawley, a great and underappreciated inventor in our industry, said today on the Automation List at control.com: "What is really needed, and is very much on the horizon, are systems and software applications that self generate structured information by using virtual knowledge and data to drive more complex data. Until then, the computer and any application it may run, can best be described as a rather simplistic aid to human endeavor."