Microsoft launched a new search experiment yesterday called Tafiti. It’s primary goal is to demonstrate the power of the Silverlight platform, and there’s no doubt that it does a good job of that. As long as you have Silverlight installed you’ll be able to use Tafiti in Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer on both Mac’s and PC’s.
Tafiti, meaning "do research" in Swahili, is targeted at people who are doing research projects or need to gather up a bunch of information. It provides a simple way to manage your past searches and "bookmark" items that might be helpful to you.
Here are some of the things I liked about Tafiti:
- On the left side it shows a stack of index cards. Those contain your past searches, and pressing the "X" in the upper-left corner of a card will take you back through your previous searches.
- The carousel at the bottom-left cycles through the various types of searches you can do (web, images, news, feeds, and books).
- There are glass shelves along the right side where you can drag search results for later use. It’s kind of like a mini bookmarking system.
- You can filter your current results using the search box next to the tree.
- Clicking on the tree will pull up a tree view…literally. I can’t see myself ever using this feature, but it does look cool.
Tafiti is something that I would never really use because the results aren’t as "instant" as what I’ve become accustomed to on search engines like Google and Yahoo. Although I do think Microsoft is on to something with how they let users organize information. Why don’t search engines let us bookmark some of the results we find? Sure we can bookmark items in our browser, but something that is specific to search engines would help de-clutter our own bookmarks.
So I’m curious what everyone thinks about Tafiti? What are some of the things you like, and what are the things you don’t care for?