There is a very interesting summary of Radio4’s upcoming in business program on the programs website about a potential European (well French) competitor for Google.
A while back there was considerable coverage of the Quaero project originally pitched as an eu funded competitor to Google.
Some however spin it as just another French lead project set up for chauvinistic reasons.
Yet more say its just a research program to help develop better search engine and this is the line that Francois Bourdoncle of Exalead is taking as his company has a very different looking search engine and is getting help with researchin his view “Quaero, is merely a research effort to put public money into improving Web search generally: extending it to unlabelled pictures, audio and video, for example, and advancing towards the holy grail of voice-to-text translation.
exalead has an interesting and different search interface allowing you to drill down and get all pages in Spanish for a particular query.
The program is on at 8.30pm today and repeated on Sunday 21 May at 9.30pm
Of course a couple of questions remain will the search engine go on holiday for all of August 😉 and why is it on a .com domain.
More interestingly why are all the big recipients the usual suspects – Thomson, France Telecom and Siemens surprised they didn’t set up in the uk as its easier to sack British workers 😦 or where British companies to stupid to apply for research grants.