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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Germany withdraws from Project Quaero

Mark Chillingworth, Franco/German partnership dissolves over intended rival to Google, Information World Review blog, January 3, 2007.  Excerpt:

The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) has announced that they would be withdrawing from Project Quaero, the plan to launch a Euro search engine challenger to Google and Yahoo writes Daniel Griffin.

According to the French Agency for Industrial Innovation (AII) who spearheaded the consortium, the split has been put down to differences over technology between them and the BMWi who also announced they will be setting up their own research project, dubbed Theseus. Theseus is intended to be an “information and technology service” rather than just a search engine. The French meanwhile wanted to focus more on the multimedia search side with the indexing of text, images and video.

Since its initial launch in January 2006, the project has been dogged with a perceived lack of commitment from the German side of the partnership....

A ministry spokeswoman from the BMWi told The Guardian: “The French wanted a search engine. We wanted something else.” ...[It is] expected the French will continue to develop the initiative without partnership from the Germans.

Update. Also see Philip E. Ross, What's the Latin For "Delusional"? IEEE Spectrum, January 2007 --written before Germany's withdrawal but predicting failure for other reasons.