HP Autonomy: Pan Uni Everything Search
September 12, 2011
Fascinating write up in Forbes, the once capitalist tool. Autonomy is soon to be a unit of Hewlett Packard, a company eager to be a blend of IBM and SAP. But red, white, and blue capitalism seems to be struggling a bit these days at least in the US. In this land of beets, red, white, and blue capitalism is not numero uno. Chatter about pan universal everything search is not on my contacts’ lips. However, “HP Might Use Autonomy to Build a Search Engine – For Everything” reports that this type of big search-centric, Google-scale idea is floating around in certain circles. The idea is a good one because Google is, well, Googling along. Yandex is too busy to talk to anyone. Microsoft supports Bing’s slow but sure approach to growth. And for other outfits, search is just a giant money pit. Forbes recycles New Scientist, asserting:
According to the [scientific magazine’s] report, Autonomy hopes to develop an engine that works in tandem with HP’s text-based search system and their own pattern-recognition search system. The end goal would be a step beyond normal search, where data that’s typically hard to organize and relate to each other, like voicemails, emails, and other documents is made much more searchable.
If memory serves, Hewlett Packard once owned AltaVista.com, employed some sharp engineers, and demonstrated that it was not in tune with search. That was in the halcyon days of the Compaq Digital Equipment acquisition. Now it is 2011, and HP owns one of the highest profile search and content processing companies in the world.
Forbes is a cautious, if sometimes confused source of technology information. The article states:
Information’s pretty thin on the ground about these plans at the moment, so it’s hard to say if this is geared towards being a Google competitor, or more of a backbone for more specialized applications on the enterprise level. Or even if, with all of the changes going on at HP, that this project will go forward at all. That said, I think it’ll be something interesting to keep an eye on.
My thought is that this is a very big idea which may require some money to move from marketing to reality. Then, once underway, HP will need to have the cash to keep the system ahead of the Googlers. My hunch is that HP will have its hands full dealing with the aftermath of the somewhat confusing comments about its consumer PC division, the mobile operating system situation, and getting its somewhat ageing arms around the Autonomy acquisition. I find the notion of a new “everything” search interesting. I won’t have to watch the subject. Forbes has already suggested it will do the job. Toss in a couple of “real” consultants, a failed Webmaster or two, and a scoop of English majors and the information about another significant development in search will be documented as thoroughly as the vote about the color of the church tower in Durnstein. (Blue it turned out. HP will be going for a happy face in yellow.)
Stephen E Arnold, September 12, 2011
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