Microsoft has confirmed rumours that it has acquired semantic web search firm Powerset.

A post on the Live Search blog yesterday (July 1st) said that the company had bought the San Francisco-based firm for an undisclosed sum, although VentureBeat recently suggested that Microsoft paid in the region of $100 million (£50.2 million).

Powerset’s technology looks at search term and web text meanings to offer more relevant results to users. The company was established in 2005 and recently put out its first product, a Wikipedia search tool.

The company will remain at its San Francisco base while becoming part of Microsoft’s core Search Relevance team, Satya Nadella, senior vice-president of search, portal and advertising at Microsoft, said.

"Powerset brings with it natural language technology that nicely complements other natural language processing technologies we have in Microsoft Research," he added.

According to Mark Johnson of Powerset, the acquisition will help the company to deploy its technology among a bigger audience.

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