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Wednesday, 18th October 2006

Microsoft Acquires Companies that Offers Bot Technology and More IM Search and Info Tools

+ It's A BOT Time: Microsoft Acquires Colloquis
This company has been around for years, first named Smarter Child and they offered a bot (SmarterChild) that's come and gone over the years, where you can ask questions (weather, sports scores, movie reviews, and much more). Details here. Smarter Child also works on AIM (web search possible via ez4Search) and ICQ. Not sure if it will become fee-based again since the "subscribe" link is dead. The Smarter Child currently works at AIM and MSN IM.

Initially, Microsoft will offer a managed service called Windows Live™ Service Agents based on the existing Colloquis Automated Service Agent offering, which has been implemented by companies such as Cingular Wireless, Comcast Corp., Cox Communications Inc., Panasonic Corp. of North America, Time Warner Cable Inc. and Vonage Holdings Corp. Windows Live Service Agents provides businesses with a hosted Web-based customer service application that interacts with end users in conversational language, combining the ease of traditional online support with the valuable insight of natural language logic. Windows Live Service Agents will augment Microsoft’s existing contact center solution, Microsoft® Customer Care Framework (CCF).

“Microsoft is focused on providing solutions such as CCF that will allow our customers to create a positive customer service experience regardless of the channel, be it phone, e-mail, or the Web,” said Maria Martinez, corporate vice president for the Communications Sector at Microsoft. “With the addition of Windows Live Service Agents to our portfolio, businesses can simplify access to information, streamline issue resolution, minimize support costs, and improve customer satisfaction.”

Xbox will be the first group within Microsoft to use Windows Live Service Agents. Colloquis technology will be a strong contributor in enabling Xbox® customers to rapidly find helpful information related to their support needs. The conversational tone and ease of use of the product will offer customers another approach with which to address commonly asked questions, providing quick resolution to customer issues. The product’s technical flexibility makes it an excellent fit with other self-service options that Xbox plans to release in the fall.

and on a related note...
The ability to search Encarta via IM (encarta@conversagent.com) is no more.

See Also: AIM Bots
AOL Launched Yellow Pages via AIM in May.

See Also: Search News, Weather and Web via MSN Messenger
Also, possible to search Yahoo via YIM.

See Also: Search Indeed.com via IM

See Also: Kozoru and Byoms (Build Your Own)


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