As a shareholder of Powerset and a friend of Barney Pell, I am obviously delighted with the result. It is kudos to Barney that as a first-time CEO he has been able to build and secure an exit for this business in less than three years.
It’s clear that Powerset has developed some impressive linguistic and semantic analysis technology. They also innovated in the search experience in a way that made it better (not just more complicated). It is also clear that the scale of Microsoft will allow Powerset to build out services more quickly. It may be a while before the whole of the Web is indexed by the technology but I am betting that the top sites (not just Wikipedia) and top blogs/social media will be next.