Powerset, the natural-language search startup I wrote about in my story on Amazon.com's digital-utility initiatives, has signed a deal with the (former Xerox) PARC in an attempt to one-up Google in search. VentureBeat's Matt Marshall broke the news last night, and the New York Times has a story today. PARC will license its own natural-language technology to Powerset and PARC researcher Ronald Kaplan will join Powerset as chief technology officer.
I haven't seen Powerset's search engine, so I can't vouch for how much of a breakthrough it may turn out to be--it's not out for public use yet. But I do think search is far from a solved problem yet. Powerset must feel it has pretty hot technology. Given how publicly it's baiting the Google tiger, it had better be.