Going Beyond Search, Into Fetch

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You whippersnappers might not remember, but libraries used to have something called card catalogs. Each book’s index card told you which shelf housed the corresponding volume. You had to go fetch it on foot.

Nowadays, you look up a book on a library computer screen, but you usually have to go fetch it on foot.

Until recently, we’ve had the same situation with searching the Web. You could look up a Web page using Google and Bing, but you still had to go fetch it.

But that’s about to change. In the last couple of weeks, both Google and Microsoft have added new features that try to spare you that last step. Now when you search at Google.com or Bing.com, you don’t just get a list of Web pages that match your search. Off to the right, where the search results page used to be empty, you now see actual information about the subject of your search, carefully packed into a new, concise, attractive panel.

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