Microsoft has shown off its vision for search on Tuesday at its annual internal TechFest event.

The concept was shown off alongside a number of new technologies at the company's annual event highlighting key tech from the company's 800 research and development staff.

The new search project will focus around three search UIs offering new experiences in persistence and collaboration: SearchBar, SearchTogether, and CoSearch.

According to Microsoft, today's User Interfaces "treat search as a transient activity, but people often conduct complex, multi-query investigations that span long durations and that are interrupted by other tasks".

Their answer? SearchBar, a new type of browser history that supports complex web investigations by assisting with task resumption and information re-finding.

Microsoft says that the new technology accomplishes these goals by proactively and persistently storing query histories, browsing histories, notes, and ratings in an interrelated fashion.

Current UIs also treat search as a solitary experience, but users often need to collaborate on searches, such as students working together on homework or families jointly planning a vacation.

Meanwhile SearchTogether enables groups of remote users to collaborate on web searches, synchronously or asynchronously, by providing group query histories, shared comments and ratings, automatic distribution of search results, session summaries, and integrated chat.

Finally CoSearch, which Microsoft say is likely to find its way into IE, Live, Messenger, and Communicator enables groups of collocated users to collaborate when sharing a single PC, by enabling group members to use their phones as input devices.

Users will be able to send text messages to the computer to queue up query terms and can use their phones’ joysticks to operate cursors on the PC to queue up browser tabs for group viewing.

We will keep you posted.