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Microsoft Windows Live Quick Apps and Tafiti

In the previous article, Windows Live Platform: Cool new toys announced for Mix, some new WL Quick Apps were added. In this article I want to highlight an updated WL Quick App: Tafiti Search visualization.

First lets explain Tafiti: Tafiti, which means “do research” in Swahili, is an experimental search front-end from Microsoft, designed to help people use the Web for research projects that span multiple search queries and sessions by helping visualize, store, and share research results.

Tafiti uses Silverlight 1.0 RC and AJAX to provide rich, cross-platform user experiences and leverages the following Microsoft services on the backend:

Tafiti’s user interface is built entirely in Silverlight. When the user does a search, drags an item to the shelf, or performs some other action, Tafiti uses ASP.NET AJAX to contact the web server. In turn, the web server hits the Live Search API to get the results. A user’s shelf is stored in a SQL Server database, indexed on the unique ID provided by Windows Live ID.


On Tafiti you can stack search results (web, images, news, feeds, books) on a shelf to make one research project. This project get’s saved for later use if you sign in with your Live ID. You can send stacks to anyone’s email address, or you can post your results to your Windows Live Space. Because Tafiti uses Silverlight this all works very smooth and intuitive; you search, find, and drag results you would like to use to your Shelf on the right. You can name your research project by adding a label to it, to do that hover over the stack and click ‘type to label…’ To view your stack click on the shelf and it will load in the middle. Want to remove stuff from your project? No problem, simply hover over the items and click the red remove button. To delete the complete project hover over the shelf and click the white X that will appear in top right of that shelf. The basics are explained in the Tafiti video walkthrough.

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