Microsoft Plays Up Search in Research Reorganization
Source: Microsoft Watch
Several new "search oriented" groups have formed after a reorganization at Microsoft Research. The article mentions that a text mining, search and navigation team, "is prominent among the newly minted groups."
A couple of weeks ago The Economist ran an article about the work of Eric Brill, a member of this group, who is developing "answer engine" technology. Here's a recent paper (co-authored by Brill) on the topic that's mentioned in The Economist article:
Automatic Question Answering: Beyond the Factoid
Finally, for the past year I've been compiling a list of links to MS Research publications about search along with a selected list of MS search patents.