eldavojohn writes, "In the roughly 90 patents they applied for on November 2, 2006, Microsoft reveals that it is apparently pushing its research in the search engine market. There are a few patents that reveal improved ranking methods and document classification but the real interesting ones revolve around linking related queries, optimizing search, identifying results that are spam, and using a Bayesian classifier to measure feedback from the user. If that's not enough, there's even a few I don't quite understand. Another notable Microsoft application for a patent is the model for assisting children in authoring stories so you can't accuse Microsoft of not thinking of the children. Microsoft regularly applies for many patents but never so many revolving around search."
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