Microsoft re-architects Windows for Personal Knowledge Mgmt


Microsoft is gutting its OS to be more like a huge SQL database of data & documents, so eventually someone can (for example) search for all interactions with a client across email, receipts, timesheets and Word files, and get relevant results. Who said search is dead?

This is an ambitious quest. But I wonder how useful it really is? I think "Search" for retrieval is always going to be with us as a necessity, but I generally can find things I need within a couple of minutes because I've organized them with some care already. Seems to me this is partly an attempt by Microsoft to circumvent people's individual and collective poor organization skills, or at least a general lack of explicit, purposeful choices about where to put and how to label information resources. We need more Information Architecture, not more half-witted search engines pumping out random keyword-associated results.

I really appreciated this other article -- The Power of One: Personal Knowledge Management -- for explaining that a new technology is not a panacea for what is essentially a very organic, human problem, and that KM is only as good as the skills and efforts of the individuals who practice it.

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Search is Good, Result Pages Bad

Lexical and attribute search is going to be with us for a long time. But hopefully, pages of 10 results linked together won't be.

Well before I'd heard of Gelentner (1998), I created a cards based search result UI that allows a user to page throught a set of search results without moving their hand or there eyes (click on a non-link portion of the card to advance to the next).

See it at in a DOM browser (looks best in IE).


this is useless. users cannot even navigate to the pages or results displayed.

Additionally I am assuming that you think that the application is intuitive? Well no its not. Please don't post such a useless application.

no anonymous dorks...please!!

Hey, I'm not king of the world or anything, but let me suggest that insulting language should only be posted under an actual user ID or at least with user info in the post. Otherwise, nobody knows whom to flame back.

I didn't even check the link but dang, the poster should be able to post any link they deem pertinent. Whether you like it or not seems more than a little irrelevant.

andrew hinton :: symetri ia

flawed comment

Your comment that search can be replaced by organization is severly flawed. Obviously you cannot every remember nor categorize a file or piece of information to accomodate the present or future information needs of a company or individual.

Imagine having tens of thousands of documents which are loosely placed within categories/folders or what ever other pseudo method of organization is in place. You will fail to find all of the relevant information to your inquiry at that time.


flawed comment

I don't recall saying that search can be replaced by organization. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'd never say that in a million years.

What I did say (perhaps poorly) was that from what I could tell the article was about Microsoft creating a desktop OS that would burn a lot of overhead on document management. But I don't think it's much more likely that people will meta-tag their documents than it is that they'll organize them in some way on their hard drives. And if they just dump stuff onto their drive and assume the search engine will find it all for them, it's probably not going to work.... i.e. I don't think (personally) that search replaces organization either.

Perhaps I misunderstood the article.

I'm not sure what you mean by "pseudo method of organization" ... what's false about organizing items into categories and/or folders?

But hey, I'm just passing along the link with a little's just a comment... if it were a "theory" or a "proclamation of Godlike Truth" then I could understand being told that it is "severely flawed." But a "flawed comment" sounds a bit like an "falsified whim" -- I mean, what's the big deal?

andrew hinton :: symetri ia

PKM Software

Creo is coming out with a product named "Six Degrees" which looks to be very promising in the area of PKM. you can sign up to receive information about the release on the website:

FYI, I am in no way affiliated with Creo, it just looks like a nice program.