Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Microsoft Tafiti - Silverlight based search front end

Microsoft released an experimental search front-end Tafiti,which uses Silverlight and Live Search and gives a richer experience in search. Tafiti, which means "do research" in Swahili, is designed to help people use the Web for research projects that span multiple search queries and sessions by helping visualize, store, and share research results.

It has a very cool User Interface. It provides a carousel with five categories: Web, images, news, rss feeds and search inside books. And we can store these different categories search data as stack shelf by just dragging and dropping these data to shelf. Once your stack is complete with the data you wanted, you can email it or post it to space blog. Also there’s a tree view which shows a visual tree spinning around with all details providing a tree-based visualization of your web search results.

Tafiti uses Silverlight 1.0 RC and AJAX to provide rich, cross-platform user experiences and leverages the following Microsoft services on the backend:

Live Search for Web, Books, Blogs, News, and Images

Live ID

Live Spaces

Some of the things which I noticed, Since its based on Silverlight, I couldn’t do a right click and copy the URL, scroll wheel doesn’t work, and when we open the saved stack, the description text is cut by vertical scroll bar.

But overall it’s really a cool way to search.

Does anybody remember Ms Dewey? A Flash based search application from Microsoft which was released few years ago ?

I can surely say Tafiti is much cooler, beautiful and better way to search.

For performing searches and taking advantage of the visualization capabilities in Tafiti, a LiveID is not required, but if you would like to save items on shelves for future reference, you will need to sign in with a LiveID. Since Tafiti is a Silverlight application, it supports all currently supported platforms for that technology, a cross browser, cross platform app.

A nice example of what Silverlight can do.

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