Home > Microsoft > Microsoft Goes After Google Microsoft Goes After Google Submitted by Patrick Johanson 2003-09-21 Microsoft 39 Comments Microsoft, which is trying to drive growth by investing in everything from small business software to video games, has quietly set its sights on a new industry — searching the Web. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 39 Comments 2003-09-21 8:10 am Isn’t this news old, yet posted recently by CNN? The only difference I am noticing is that now they are talking about Longhorn maybe having it integrated. I guess it can be done somehow, but I guess I have a narrow mind and I think that searching the web is best done in a web browser. Honestly what is new in this news item. 2003-09-21 8:28 am but it makes you wonder…. if you do a search on google nowadays, the results at the top are almost always from the sites that paid google to give them a better ranking. If microsoft then owns the biggest search engine, not only will sites have to pay to get a good ranking, but they will see themselves not as high on the list as they usually are. I can see nearly all search results having microsoft solutions at the top of the list. and what will happen to http://www.google.com/linux ????? 2003-09-21 9:25 am Apart from the clearly marked sponsered links, the top google search results always seem to be what your after. Since the top companies probably have the most linking, that’s why google returns them. This quote had me cracking up: “The decision to build or buy came down to our ability to innovate,” said Kirk Koenigsbauer, strategy manager at Microsoft’s MSN Internet portal. The entire base for MSN was built around what..? Hotmail? They didn’t build that, that’s for sure. 2003-09-21 9:35 am “This quote had me cracking up: “The decision to build or buy came down to our ability to innovate,” said Kirk Koenigsbauer, strategy manager at Microsoft’s MSN Internet portal. “” Me too (-: Since when does Microsoft innovate – they copy and buy that is what they are good at. Anyway long before longhorn comes out there will be storage and dashboard in gnome (-: 2003-09-21 10:02 am I even use Google to search Microsoft pages. Gets you results faster than searching through MS’s own engine. Need to read a Knowledge base article? Just type the Q number in Google… That’s how innovative they are right now 😉 N.B.: what will happen to http://www.google.com/linux ????? Although they considered it, the article is not about buying Google, but about MS planning to make some own earch technology. 2003-09-21 10:09 am This is the number 4 item when “linux” is searched using MSN.COM search engine: Alternatives to Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP Learn about the Microsoft alternatives and how to move to them from open source products. 2003-09-21 10:41 am MSN is a joke. Let’s try anything, for example, “apple”. Google: apple.com first AllTheWeb: apple.com first Yahoo: apple.com first MSN: first *.apple.com – 5th, apple.com itself – 10th. 2003-09-21 10:46 am I have made a mistake. MSN makes the ads look exactly as the actual search results, and I missed that small grey “faetured sites” note. With this correction, it should be first *.apple.com – 2th, apple.com itself – 7th. 2003-09-21 11:26 am Just thought I should point out that yahoo uses google Microsoft may have coinsidered buying google but I don’t think Google would allow that anyway – for starters they support the alternative OS’s. Not only is there /linux and /bsd etc. but the google search itself is powered by 10000 linux boxes (according to my distributed systems lecturer at least) 2003-09-21 11:29 am I wonder how many people really want their search questions to go through Microsoft? I don’t trust them. 2003-09-21 12:34 pm Microsoft plans to create their own new search engine, how does a relic from the past, whose earliest ancestors are older than MSN itself, would even compare? I currently still don’t understand why Microsoft still use a shitty search engine for microsoft.com when MSN has a better one, though. 2003-09-21 12:41 pm The regular computing public would 2003-09-21 12:55 pm If it does the job then why not. But then again Google does the job too and it is a heck of a lot faster than others who do the job too. :>) 2003-09-21 12:59 pm “But then again Google does the job too and it is a heck of a lot faster than others who do the job too.” Also it is free to end users. Why would MS want to enter a market where the leading product is free? 2003-09-21 1:04 pm Microsoft won’t get it right. They never do the first 15 tries. And yet, that didn’t stop them from dominating the computer industry. Microsoft has proven over and over that you don’t have to be the best. “Tolerable enough” is what it takes. Think about it: when 90%-95% of computer users have Windows, and want to search, and click on a search icon that is right there on the desktop, or in the taskbar, and it works, um, “good enough”… why would they bother looking up Google? 2003-09-21 2:00 pm The thing is – it’s pretty much a given that MSN Search will never be as good as Google. Now, knowing this, unless MS does something where google.com requests are automatically redirected to MSN search, I suspect they’re going to loose. Why? Because everyone can convert to google. Every single person I’ve shown google has instantly preferred it – and it doesn’t require settings, downloads, or anything. Any browser can use google. Go to a friends house some weird setup? No proble, you can still use google. Locked homepage at work? No problem, google is still accessible. You can argue simplicity, that’s true, but based on what I’ve seen – people love google so much compared to the MS offering, that they’re happy to put up with some less ease of use, in return for clear-cut, no bullshit advantages that google gives. Until MSN Search offers the speed, and uncompromised accurate results that google does, people are going to convert, and stay converted, no matter what. The exceptions – those who don’t know – and can’t grasp – the difference between MSN Search and regular web lookups. Like the most AOL users, don’t really matter to the larger web community. On a further note – even if the number of people using people stayed exactly the same – Google is still making money. 2003-09-21 2:30 pm “Also it is free to end users. Why would MS want to enter a market where the leading product is free?” That’s the dangerous part. Instead of making money from it directly, they probably intend to make money from it indirectly, by controlling and manipulting the information. Think MS products won’t be given preferential treatment? Think again. 2003-09-21 4:46 pm Have more fun… try the “opensource” query on MSN, just to find the number one: http://www.sco.com/company/openletter 2003-09-21 6:15 pm …it can still irritate the skin like new news… I love Google. Even with the sponsored links, it isn’t anywhere near as bothersom as Yahoo is. I used to use Yahoo all the time. I finally couldn’t take the commercializing any more. I was there to search, not watch commercials and see advertizing. Google’s front page still loads in a short two seconds on cable modem (and on dial-up the savings are even more important). They kick ass. When they stop being cool, I’ll stop using them. So far, so good. Microsoft, on the other hand… they’re an example of what someone in the forums here referred to as “overcomputing.” Every time I have to go search the Knowledge Base at microsoft.com, I get frustrated and annoyed because it is far more complicated than it needs to be and the extra complexity does not make it any more effective (the opposite happens). Like everything MS does, all they need to do is throw enough money at it to make it “a success” so I don’t doubt their “new innovative search engine” is a success eventually. I do doubt that I will ever willingly use it. If they manage to ruin searching the Internet it’ll certainly piss me off, but I doubt even MS has enough power to totally squeeze out all alternative search engines on the Internet. 2003-09-21 6:16 pm Like the article states, I think this is really all about Longhorn. They’re basing their whole file system navigation on queries. So, wouldn’t it make sense to integrate that into the web? They’re going to want a search engine powerful enough to work as well as a search on the local harddrive. Also, they need something that accepts similar phrasing to how they’ll setup the WinFS searches. Microsoft recognizes they need a much more powerful search engine than MSN, and they decided that it would work better to build their own rather than buy Google. So, this will compete with Google in the sense that Microsoft will be using their monopoly on operating systems to take away the need to even open a browser to Google; however, it probably won’t be competing (as much) with google as a web-based search engine. 2003-09-21 6:17 pm as i’ve stated many times before, knowledge is the currency and wealth of the future’s hyper-lubricated economies. education, and the search for knowledge is a very sensitive domain which needs to be guarded by the state. this reminds me of Microsoft Encarta and other “educational” items being pushed into UK schools and education. the teachers i know were shocked. not only at the innacuracies but at the blatant bias and historical revisionism that comes from Microsoft. this is very ominous. because google has become such a ubiquitous tools – and one that has thankfully remained largely neutral. i wouldn’t evenbe surprised if the forces of glbalisation, including the us adminisatration, were behind such moves. its not as crazy as you think. just look back to our recent history of the 2 world wars, where both the usa and the uk have acknowledged pushing privae companies to extend their point of view, from films to books, … i myself would contribute to a project to set up an alternative google. OpenGoogle? FreeGoogle? NeutralGoogle? DebianGoogle (as in free from corporate influence). like the IP debate, this is far more serious than most people realise. t 2003-09-21 6:36 pm “Our ability to innovate is predicated on our ability to own the platform,” Translation: “Searching the internet will now bundled into Windows and we wouldn’t be able to innovate if we were not an abusive monopolist.” Just like Internet Explorer, Messenger, Media Player, Netmeeting and Outlook Express, “Search the Intenet” is going to become an “inseparable” part of Windows and the internet will be searched according to Microsoft’s agenda when done from future versions of Windows. 2003-09-21 7:08 pm Webmasters have been seeing the new “MSNbot” for month’s and hence this isn’t really news for those who follow the search engines, but without actually seeing the results it is difficult to know whether the results are really that relevant. The current MSN results are from Inktomi which was snubbed by Yahoo back in 2K, hence it isn’t surprising that the results aren’t that good. Like most people I have to agree with the fact that the term “featured sites” is a bad euphemism for sponsored, but many search engines including Yahoo do this as well. Google is a real exception to this rule. The problem that I see is that even if MSN could get a database as large as Google which would be pretty hard they still wouldn’t have the same high relevancy. While some webmasters have played tricks to improve their SE rankings, Google has been one of the best in dealing with SE spam which is why their relevancy is better than the other SE’s. 2003-09-21 8:32 pm Yes, Yahoo uses Google, but they have recently bought alltheweb.com from Overture, which again bought it from the norwegian company FAST search and transfer. So I expect the to use alltheweb pretty soon 2003-09-21 9:38 pm I think it would be a shame if Microsoft bought Google. It’s such a nice search engine. I find it very disturbing that it seems like everything is being bought (or a simaler product is being made by) by one of two companies: Microsoft and AOL. Microsoft: Widows, MSN, MSN Messanger, XBox, Micrsoft’s Tivo ripoff, Outlook Express, NetMeeting, MSNBC IE, etc AOL: AOL, AIM, ICQ, Netscape, Warner Bros, New Line Cinema, TBS, CNN, Time Warner Cable, HBO, Time, The WB, Warner Music Group, everything Time-Warner owns, and so on I wouldn’t be surpised if one of them bought Yahoo. “I love Google. Even with the sponsored links, it isn’t anywhere near as bothersom as Yahoo is” Google’s ads are the few ads a Don’t mind. Infact, I kind of like them. They are actually sometimes usefull instead of annoying like most ads. 2003-09-21 9:56 pm What about antitrust regulations ? The measures ordered by court ? The law ? I am glad I don’t have to live in US. DG 2003-09-21 11:41 pm I have used all the search pages, I like msn search the best because the format is the easiest to read. To me the msn search is the most organized, or it provides the best results on the internet. 2003-09-22 1:47 am If there are no action taken to prevent it, i.e. to keep on inventing better technology. History shows that MS is very good in doing this king of jobs. They will start with a weak/buggy product but later use their dominance in OS to degrade other product. In this case I think they can do something to their server OS so that whatever other search engine is doing, their OS will do something so that the result is misleading. Many other thing they can do with their monopoly power in the OS market. Let wait and see. 2003-09-22 4:02 am Jack Perry Microsoft has proven over and over that you don’t have to be the best. That may be true for the majority of cases, but not -all- cases, fortunately. See TiVo vs WebTV, or MS Money vs Quickbooks. Resistance isn’t always futile 2003-09-22 8:49 am MS are doomed here – nice to see them throw some of those billions down the pan though. To most people Google IS the web. Most of the average users (if not all) that I know have Google as their home page and access everything through Google – if they can’t find a site through Google they just presume that it doesn’t exist. (Hell, I’m a power user and I must say I pretty much have the same attitude!). In fact, a lot of people seem completey ignorant of the address bar and just type in the name of their favourite sites into Google every single time they want to access them. Though I would like to see a bit of competition on Google but I certainly don’t see them as a company that has deliberately tried to monopolise in the way MS has. Google are the most used search engine because they’re the faster, most accurate, cleanest and easiest to use and are really consumer driven. 2003-09-22 1:05 pm Jack Perry: Microsoft has proven over and over that you don’t have to be the best. Good Grief: That may be true for the majority of cases, but not -all- cases, fortunately. See TiVo vs WebTV, or MS Money vs Quickbooks. Resistance isn’t always futile Pffft… I was replying to a comment that has since been moderated down, so maybe the context was lost: my point wasn’t that they were a sorry sack of software developers; it was that even when they get it horribly wrong the first ten or fifteen times (e.g. Windows, Internet Explorer) they still manage to gain enough traction to dominate the market. Nothing more than that should be read into what I wrote. Although, yes, I do avoid their software like the plague. 2003-09-22 3:02 pm this reminds me of Microsoft Encarta and other “educational” items being pushed into UK schools and education. the teachers i know were shocked. not only at the innacuracies but at the blatant bias and historical revisionism that comes from Microsoft. The last version of Encarta I’d used is 98, but Encarta is the least biased commercial ensiclopeadia. The worst? I would say the World Book. However I really like Wikipedia because it is community based, a one-sided atricle would be bogged down by a community. But how does government-control help them? Wouldn’t that allow pro-government propaganda to seep in? I would know, I’m from Malaysia, where things like History textbooks can have one page on the Tasadays, but not a single mention of the Holocaust in their two chapter long history of WW2. Besides, tell me how, an encyclopaedia is to be compared to a search engine. Microsoft have better things to do than screwing their business and wasting money at that in manipulating results. It wouldn’t make sense. Now, for the rest of you guys, the sentiment that Microsoft would manipulate the search results in unfounded paranoia. Microsoft knows better not to do so. Google is practically the best known web brand, along with eBay and the likes, MSN wouldn’t change that immediately, or at all. If MSN does screw up the results to their political and commercial views, guess what? They would hardly succeed. Besides, as to creating a free Google, I don’t see the point. The main reason why I like Google is because it is commercial. Why? I can search without popping useless irrevelent results, instead having useful results I normally still can use. It’s nice in that sense. And when you don’t want them, it is easier to just ignore it. And the main advantage of Google is PageRank. If it takes AOL, microsoft, Inktomi, etc. millions to get something almost as good yet fail, how would a open source one work? 2003-09-22 3:07 pm What regulation actually is Microsoft going to violate? Details? Clauses from the settlement? Something? Anything of substance? 2003-09-22 4:50 pm >>Now, for the rest of you guys, the sentiment that >>Microsoft would manipulate the search results in unfounded >>paranoia. Microsoft knows better not to do so. Google is >>practically the best known web brand, along with eBay and >>the likes, MSN wouldn’t change that immediately, or at >>all. Find a website developed using non-microsoft software (Check the headers to see wich program created the HTML code) then open it using Internet Explorer, then save the page as HTML and open it with Notepad. Now read the headers on the file you just saved and compare them to the original headers. Look what it does to the meta tags. Isn´t it manipulation or what? 2003-09-22 5:48 pm Coming in 2010 The Microsoft Bakery, treats with as much fat as windows, think & you will get it. 2003-09-22 7:29 pm Jack Perry I was replying to a comment that has since been moderated down, so maybe the context was lost: my point wasn’t that they were a sorry sack of software developers; it was that even when they get it horribly wrong the first ten or fifteen times (e.g. Windows, Internet Explorer) they still manage to gain enough traction to dominate the market. You seem erudite and level-headed, but you need re-read what I wrote in my previous post. MS don’t always manage to gain enough traction to dominate a market. The X-Box is being easily held at bay by Sony in the US, and flunking everywhere else on the planet. WebTV has all but disappeared, and Quickbooks is still as strong as ever. And Linux has stopped their penetration into the server market just about dead. Unfortunately, those are the only salient examples that I know of, but at least they exist. Cheers to you =) 2003-09-22 8:05 pm No more toys until you put all the others away. and no more visits to the candy store for you!, its not everything you see you can get. 2003-09-22 9:01 pm To search or not to search? Billgates: Lets draw Straws!!! Steve : Can i sit at the head of the table this time??? 2003-09-23 3:27 am Bill gates :: Lets draw straw!! Steve :: Can i sit at the head of the table this time??