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Microsoft

Microsoft Introduces Competition For Google News 312

Posted by timothy
from the up-to-the-minute-or-something dept.
Romeo E. Cabrera writes "In advance of an imminent launch of its own search engine, Microsoft has launched its own version of the popular Google News service. Based initially on feeds from the Moreover news aggregation service, the new beta service (known as MSN Newsbot) aims to provide news on a range of subjects including World, Sports, Entertainment, Science and Technology."
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Microsoft Introduces Competition For Google News

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  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:01PM (#7511153) Homepage Journal

    TinFoilHat time:
    I imagine any news that is negative to MS' bottom line will be relegated to the back of the bus, much like Linux search results in MSN's search. Thanks, but I'll use a news engine from a company with in interest in cool tech, not spinning the news to appease stockholders.
    • by ironfrost (674081) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:04PM (#7511175) Homepage Journal
      It looks like you might have a point - at the moment, the second and third highest ranked articles are about Microsoft themselves.
      • by TopShelf (92521) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:08PM (#7511216) Homepage Journal
        Well, give them a bit of credit. The most prominent story in the Tech department is Sun's plan to partner with AMD and offer Wintel alternatives...
      • by kiwimate (458274) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:44PM (#7511536) Journal
        Gosh...you don't think that might be because they've only just opened it up and so the vast majority of the site's users up until now would have been internal Microsoft people?

        As I look now, a few minutes after the /. story appeared, that's already changing. Number 1 is about Microsoft, and number 2 is about a murder suspect in the UK.

        How's this for a test? Everyone on /., go and visit the Tech News Site and click on the Red Hat subscriptions surge article and see how quickly it moves up.

        Or, even better, come back to the site after a couple of days and see how it's changed. Then, reevaluate on the basis of some actually vaguely accurate data! Going against the whole rationale of /., I know, but you never know, it might work.
    • by captainclever (568610) <rjNO@SPAMaudioscrobbler.com> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:10PM (#7511237) Homepage
      Most Popular Articles:

      1. Microsoft tests Web news service ZDNet Full coverage...
      2. Microsoft tests Web news service DoubleClick Full coverage...

      'Course not ;)
    • by mcpkaaos (449561) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:26PM (#7511391)
      much like Linux search results in MSN's search

      Didn't we just dispel that myth about a week ago, when showing that beyond MSN's initial page(s) of sponsored links, Linux search results thrived in massive numbers? A search for "linux" on MSN returns 440 sponsored links, most of which are legitimate linux sites. Going beyond that list yields over 15 million additional results. I know that doesn't compare to Google, but that's like apples to oranges. Google is a far superior search engine/service by its own merit. Linux.org is #4 on the first page of results, by the way (even though it is beneath that site about migrating away from linux over to Microsoft, lol).

      I know that we can't expect Microsoft to roll out the red carpet for negative news about themselves too often, or even positive news for alternative products, but can we please stop with the paranoia? I think they've demonstrated that while they are in fact petty, they aren't quite that petty.
      • Didn't we just dispel that myth about a week ago, when showing that beyond MSN's initial page(s) of sponsored links,...

        No. We showed that it *DID* push Linux links back. Not to the end, but only a page, still, they were, indeed, pushed back. And that makes the entire system more clumsy to use, less useful, and a waste of time.

        If I'm searching for Peanut Creme Torte receipes, then I don't want the first results to be ads for the Peanut Research Council and Tort lawyers. That I can step back a page and
        • by marauder404 (553310) <marauder404NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @01:12PM (#7511783)
          Did you even try running a search? Their site tends to return Sponsored Sites, Featured Sites, and then whole sites dedicated to your query. Only then are individual pages listed. The difference is sites vs. pages. The second page of results are not second-tier, but just individual pages. The intent is obvious: ads to pay for the site, then whole websites dedicated to your query, and then individual pages. For very generic queries like Linux, it's probably better to find a whole site that's a Linux authority rather than an individual page that talks about Linux a lot. You might not like the system, and that's fine, but to say that it's skewing results to favor a competitive business agenda is completely different.
          • by HiThere (15173) *
            True. They probably aren't *currently* skewing results to favor a competitive business agenda . But their standard approach is to start out with something decent, build it into something good. And then use it to abuse or mislead the users, preferably without their noticing it. I'd rather just skip that whole operation.

      • So, what, the front page of MSN news is going to be sponsored stories that don't identify themselves as such (like the sponsored links on the MSN search page)? Is that really any better?

    • Slate and MSNBC haven't been particularly pro-Microsoft (other than the generic pro-corporate bias all mainstream media have). I don't see this is a huge worry, personally.

      Compare MSNBC's reporting on Microsoft with ABC's (explicit and candidly admitted) refusal to report anything bad about Disney, or indeed to do much of anything except hype Disney-owned "artists" like Britney Spears. That's a much bigger worry to me.

    • by EvilTwinSkippy (112490) <`moc.coyote' `ta' `adoy'> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @01:34PM (#7511940) Homepage Journal
      Microsoft news...

      The news source you anti-trust.

    • by eaolson (153849)
      Now, this analysis may not be fair, because this is a new service and so may not have as much historical information as Google, but:
      • "microsoft monopoly"
        • Google: 572 hits
        • MSN Newsbot: 142 hits
      • "microsoft anti-trust"
        • Google: 1600 hits
        • MSN Newsbot: 50 hits
      • "matrix" (for something not Microsoft related)
        • Google: 3910 hits
        • MSN Newsbot: 999 hits [*]
      • "putnam scandal" (again, for something not Microsoft or tech related)
        • Google: 2000 hits
        • MSN Newsbot: 678 hits [*]

      [*] The Newsbot hit-counter s

    • Why is everyone here going nuts on the possibility of MS skewing the results? They've shown for years that they can co-run a news site that has plenty of room for anti-Microsoft and pro-linux stories. Has anyone made a serious claim about MSNBC not being impartial?

      Pro-linux [msnbc.com]

      Anti-microsoft [msnbc.com]

  • Oddly Enough... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot@NOSPAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:02PM (#7511157) Homepage Journal
    .. I doubt many here care. Just annother "innovation" from MicroSoft.

    Jaysyn
    • Still using google (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BondGamer (724662)
      I am still going to use google. It is a nice quick way to see the day's major events for technology and business. It works and is very orgnaized. Better to encourage the orginal creator to create more then to encourage the copier to copy more.
    • Re:Oddly Enough... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Frymaster (171343) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:24PM (#7511369) Homepage Journal
      Just annother "innovation" from MicroSoft.

      too true. microsoft has talked a lot recently about how their committed to innovation. and yet, their two most recent releases:

      1. a news service "like google's"
      2. an online music store "like apple's"

      • Re:Oddly Enough... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Mr_Silver (213637)
        microsoft has talked a lot recently about how their committed to innovation.

        Personally I don't care whether or not a company has innovated in the "here's something totally new that you've never seen before" - if they can take something and make it better, then I (as a punter) will chose it.

        To innovate doesn't have to have the pre-requsit of "start from scratch". It's perfectly possible to take something that isn't particulary new and then add new features and claim that to be innovative.

        Other companie

        • Re:Oddly Enough... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Frymaster (171343) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:40PM (#7511507) Homepage Journal
          don't care whether or not a company has innovated in the "here's something totally new that you've never seen before"

          you may not care, but microsoft does. remember that recent interview where balmer said that linux was "not innovative" because it was just "a clone of unix"?

          ms has set their own definition of innovation. and they aren't living up to it.

      • by advocate_one (662832) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:54PM (#7511625)
        so we're all waiting for "innovation" number 3...

        3. A secure Operating System "like Linux"...
      • Re:Oddly Enough... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by marauder404 (553310)
        Don't confuse innovation with invention. Let's see what they bring to the table when these services are in full swing to see how they've innovated on an existing concept to make it better for the consumer, industry, or their own bottom line. Any one of these, among others, would make it an innovation.
      • I have to say... Microsoft has introduced some pretty advanced features into this service. For instance, when I search for a news item it not only pulls up related stories, but throws in a few unrelated stories, so I don't have to go search for those too! It also seems to organize stories within subcategories by threes for no apparent reason, so I get a false sense of organization. Nice touch.

        Yes, this is still firmly in 'beta.'
  • As long as it is not exacltly the same news on other sites (like Google), I would be willing to give it a try. I find too much recycled news on the internet these days, and it would be nice to have something new. Of course, if it is the same news over and over again (or blatently Microsoft propeganda), then it isnt worth the bother.

    • This is a little off-topic I admit, but I'll risk the Karma because it might be of interest to a few people here seeing as a lot of /.'s have such strong political views.

      I subscribe to Stratfor [stratfor.com]. It's a paid for service geared towards investors and company strategists and it provides some of the best international and political news you'll ever find. It's cheap enough that I subscribe privately and you can guarentee that it isn't full of propaganda. Why? Because it's used by people with money and whateve
    • new. Of course, if it is the same news over and over again (or blatently Microsoft propeganda), then it isnt worth the bother.

      So why do you read sladshdot again? :D
  • by pheared (446683) <kevin AT pheared DOT net> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:04PM (#7511178) Homepage
    "Does Linux cause cancer? Find out at MSnewsbot.com. ... Bill Gates: Terrific Dancer. ... Dow down 5000 points. ... Study: 92 percent of Linux users are gay.. ... Oil slicks found to keep penguins young, supple. ... Steve Ballmer: Awesome."
  • I don't even use google for my news... If I did, I'd never get my daily dose of anti microsoft, pro linux, anti sco news!

    Mixed in with a bunch of banter about quantum entanglment!
  • hmm (Score:2, Funny)

    by oZZoZZ (627043)
    It's a total rip off of google, so i see no reason to use it... but when I first went to check it out, i noticed 1 story at the top of technology, with the headline:
    "Tapping into the growing interest to Wintel computers"
    At least they're not censoring the news.... yet =)
  • Impartiality (Score:5, Insightful)

    by harks (534599) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:06PM (#7511191)
    I wonder if they will be as impartial as the Google news generator. The first two "most popular" articles on their service are the same one: Microsoft Tests Web News Service
    • Re:Impartiality (Score:5, Insightful)

      by terraformer (617565) <tpb@pervici.com> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:25PM (#7511379) Journal
      Hopefully they will be as impartial through the use of automation, which is where google gets it's impartiality from.
      The more important thing here is this may push google to drop the "our news site is an experimental beta test which can be dropped at any time" attitude and start to really pour some resources in. One thing about competition is that it will help hone the product and google's news site has not really changed since it's inception a while back. I was hoping for some interface tweaks and other enhancements that could make it the killer web app.
    • This bias claim seems to be self-fulfilling.

      See, it looks like they're judging headlines with a "popularity index" counting how many time users click stories. Since ./ is the only place this site seems to be loudly announced right now, we the Slashdot readers are biasing sampling, and clicking on the pro-MS and pro-SCO stories more than anything else and moving them to the top, then coming back here, yelling "Bias!", which drives more /.'s to the site... rinse. wash. repeat.

      If this is right... think we co
    • The first two "most popular" articles on their service are the same one: Microsoft Tests Web News Service

      That couldn't have anything to do with millions of slashdot users clicking through to read an article on the new web news service, could it?
  • by Noryungi (70322) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:07PM (#7511200) Homepage Journal
    As seen recently:

    • New Linux security vulnerabilities.
    • SCO receives a large new infusion of cash from partner Microsoft.
    • Exclusive Ballmer/Gates Matrix spoof, now in THX and Dolby Digital Surround!
    • Foobar Software is named "Innovative Windows Software of the Year" by Bill Gates.


    Etc... Etc... Etc...

    (All this is said firmly tongue-in-cheek, of course...) ;-)
  • Anyone else notice this? Almost same layout, the time generated at the top right, the menu on the left. step 1. Find good site/idea step 2. COPY AND PASTE step 3. ???? step 4. profit
  • Define "based on" (Score:2, Interesting)

    by FelixCat (594769)
    Wow, just imagine what MS will do with a news feed.

    The whole power of the google news is that it is machine generated, and not directly controlled by a human. Remember that MS search engine is "based on" information found on the internet, but if you search for many well known things like say "linux windows" you get far different results than from other search engines (e.g. Google).

    Just imagine once they start putting the same filter on the news feeds! I can't wait to see what sort of bias is introduce

  • by RobertAG (176761) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:10PM (#7511233)
    Wasn't a REAL news website good enough? Now they have to be in competition with THEMSELVES?

    At first glance I thought it was a new place to search usenet news. This new "news site" is just plain worthless. It reminds me of the USAToday site.

    • by bs_02_06_02 (670476) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:55PM (#7511631)
      Yahoo news has been pretty good for quite awhile. MS is doing nothing but trying to "keep up with the Joneses." Most newspaper sites do the same thing. They just don't pay for as many newsfeeds.

      MS has some really brainy product people: "We need to do something."
      "I can't think of anything."
      "How about we copy google?"
      "Too hard."
      "Ok, how about we just copy parts of google?"
      "Ok... news. We'll just aggregate."
      "Cool... we'll just chip away at Google."
      "We've got more money than god... they'll cave sooner or later."

      MS buys a hundred Dell servers, hires a contractor to come in and set up the scripting. They hire 2 people to keep the 100 Dells running linux... I meant 50 people to keep the 100 Dell machines running Windows 2003.
      MS starts issuing press releases before the contractor is ready. The advertising people have all of the Intel/MS cronies lined up for advertising spots. They start beating on the contractor when the site sucks.
      MS starts reporting estimated revenue streams to Wall Street. Everyone is happy. The general public buys Windows XP, they aren't even asked if they'd like their default news page set to MS. It's just done.
    • by nsebban (513339)
      All of MSNBC's content is produces by NBC's journalists...MS only provides technical part.
  • Comparing font pages (Score:2, Interesting)

    by edalytical (671270)
    MSN Newsbot: Michael Jackson 'to be arrested'

    Google News: Radio Netherlands British Newspaper Claims Security Breach at Buckingham Palace

    One of these is not news can you guess which one?

    • So every UK news site and tabloid papers talking about "Bush Statevisit to England" wasn't news because it was talking about future events?

      Pfffft

      I question your definition of "news" But can you guess which one of your statements is an anti-MS statement just because it's MS?
  • They just can't *stand* somebody else doing something that they're not, can they...
  • by Ridgelift (228977) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:11PM (#7511251)
    Quote: According to MSN, by tracking the interests of users of the site it can determine which stories are most popular and suggest stories that users want to follow based on the patterns of other users.

    Great, now Microsoft can collect information on me without having to sneak around. "Your honor, Mr. Public asked us to track his every move when he was forced...UH...opted-in to MSN Newsbot". Of course, they'd _never_ use the information they gather for marketing purposes (ouch! my tongue is wedged into my cheek!)

    Quote: Users of MSN Passport can get personalised news depending on their interest during past visits. When logging in to Passport, MSN Newsbot displays news from sources you've chosen in the past.

    Passport users? Oh, you mean everyone who uses XP because of that annoying bubble that keeps pestering you to sign-up until you do.

    So now I can read all the favourable press on Microsoft, have all my activity tracked and the rest of my privacy compromised so I can have super-specific product advisement beamed right into brain. Gotta hand it to you, Bill, your vast fortunes are eclipsed only by your ability to me, John Q. Public, exactly what I want (ouch! My cheek!)
  • Why google is better (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Docrates (148350) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:12PM (#7511259) Homepage
    The reason I use google news very frequently is simple: they dig out news that I wouldn't find through casual news surfing on the traditional sites. Mostly international news which I DO care about, local news of a lot of cities and stuff that's just interesting and not tired and exploited (I wouldn't sit through a news story of the Peterson case even if they paid me!)

    I don't see Microsoft matching that for the simple reason that MS is in it for the ads, the traffic and the money, while Google (when it comes to news at least) is doing it because they can and makes them look good (it's more a technological showroom than a add based news service. In fact, they don't sell advertising in that page)
  • I compared (Score:5, Informative)

    by savaget (26702) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:13PM (#7511265)
    I did a comparison of both by searching my hometown(in Canada).
    The MS got 8 hits while Google got 21. The main difference here seems that Google hits were sourced from newspaper web pages and MS hits came mostly from newswire services.

    • That's because MS News is sourced from Moreover, which is a news aggregator that collects a lot of its content from newswire services and the like (often via RSS).

      I did a study of Moreover a few weeks back. Unlike Google, Moreover news is not totally automated -- they have editors who manually rank how good they think a news site is. They also markup things like the subject and geographical scope of the site.
      Searches on the content itself are powered by an Autonomy search engine (I think).

      Because of the h
  • Litmus test (Score:5, Informative)

    by cyranoVR (518628) <cyranoVRNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:13PM (#7511266) Homepage Journal
    "Linux Windows" [msn.com] on newsbot.msn.com = 717 stories
    First headlines:
    Sun Micro Signs China Desktop Linux Software Deal (Reuters)
    Leader: Comdex reflects harsh IT realities (Silicon.com)
    Brown defends Blair relationship (?? Guardian Unlimited)

    "Linux Windows" [google.com] on news.google.com = ~1,800 stories
    First headlines:
    Intel intros hyperthreading compilers for Linux, Windows (The Inquirer, UK)
    Linux-Windows file access (Linuxworld)
    An editor to ease Windows to Linux migration (Newsforge)

  • by Theaetetus (590071) <<theaetetus.slashdot> <at> <gmail.com>> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:13PM (#7511272) Homepage Journal
    MSN's tech page here [msn.com] has no mention of the #2 story on the Tech section of Google: Apple unveils new products for the holidays.

    As we saw with MSN's competing search engine, there seems to be some bias in the results...

    -T

  • They can only seem to copy, not innovate.
  • by MyDixieWrecked (548719) * on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:17PM (#7511301) Homepage Journal
    that M$ has just made back their investment solely from advertising income from the slashdotting.

    Must we help the borg?!

  • by Urkki (668283) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:17PM (#7511303)
    ...so when average user uses the net, he will automatically use MS services, unless he goes to the Special-dialog in the Advanced-tab in some obscure settings windows...

    It's really a bit like TV makers would have their own TV channels where they would show content made by themselves, and TV sets of their make would only display those channels... Oh, and using a microwave oven that could heat your standard TV dinner would require having their TV set as well or the result would look all funky.
  • So 2 out of the 5 most popular stories are Microsoft related.


    # Microsoft tests Web news service ZDNet Full coverage...

    # Microsoft tests Web news service DoubleClick Full coverage...


    Seems like it's running the same "AI algorithm" engine msn search engine is using. I know I won't be using nor recommeding this news portal to anyone.

  • Microsoft tests Web news service ZDNet Full coverage...
    Huntley 'said he was last person to see girls alive' Guardian Unlimited Full coverage...
    Microsoft tests Web news service DoubleClick Full coverage...
    Busted crash to the top BBC Full coverage...
    Attack helicopters worth GBP1.2bn will lie idle for years Independent Full coverage...

    Now that's fair and balanced!
  • All the "read this story" links (even the msnbc ones) go via redirect adresses in the moreover.com domain rather than directly to the source.

    Who are Moreover, and why is Microsoft using them for redirection?
    • Re:Moreover.com? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by 1u3hr (530656) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:37PM (#7511485)
      Noting happens when I click on the links. On investigation. "c.moreover.com" is in my hosts file defined as 127.0.0.0, from a standard list of banner and popup spewing domains. So I feel disinclined to unalais it.

      Also is it tacky to have a headline: "Michael Jackson 'to be arrested'" and below that an ad "Find Michael Jackson Items on eBay.co.uk", and more stupidly, if less offensively: "Airline Network: Cheap Travel to Jackson".

      • 1. It's called a beta... odd selections are known as "bugs" and you can't say they didn't warn us.

        2. Moreover's gotta pay its bills somehow. Of course, I use Google's Toolbar for a popup blocker and that gets through the links just fine.
    • Moreover.com is a company that's been around for a few years, in the business of crawling news websites and sorting the headlines into newsfeeds. They used to have a very open API so that programmers and website designers could use their database for free, but they've since pulled down that information. (However, I notice tht a screen saver I wrote for myself back 4 years ago using their headlines for my area still works very well to this day...)

      Moreover can hardly be called biased... Fucked Company [fuckedcompany.com] also u
  • Suprise Suprise (Score:2, Interesting)

    by KJE (640748)
    Some of the jokes aren't far off.

    Check out what 2 out of the top 5 "Most Popular Articles" are:

    • Microsoft tests Web news service ZDNet Full coverage...
    • Huntley 'said he was last person to see girls alive' Guardian Unlimited Full coverage...
    • Microsoft tests Web news service DoubleClick Full coverage...
    • Busted crash to the top BBC Full coverage...
    • Attack helicopters worth GBP1.2bn will lie idle for years Independent Full coverage...
  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:22PM (#7511354) Homepage Journal
    I've noticed that GoogleNews routinely carries headlines from /.

    For example the latest SCO story [google.com]links to the /. headline [slashdot.org]as one of the sources.

    On the other hand, the same story on MSN NEWSbot [msn.com] does not provide a link to the /. headline.

    But then, Google News lists 66 sources for the same story, while MSNNewsBot links to about 10, so it's hard to say if they're intentionally boycotting our popular Anti-MS site.

    I would really love to see their news site regularly updated with /.'s Microsoft headlines :) That'll be fun to watch

    • You know I never got this. Why? Because /. isn't a source of news but, like news.google.com, is a hyperlink roundup. It is just a waystation to somewhere else.

      I guess you could count the posted discussion as original content... but what person in their right mind would consider a dozen 'In Soviet Russia 2. ??? 3. Profit!!! overlords welcome you!' useful in understanding a news story?
      • I guess you could count the posted discussion as original content... but what person in their right mind would consider a dozen 'In Soviet Russia 2. ??? 3. Profit!!! overlords welcome you!' useful in understanding a news story?

        If you set your preferences to sort by score, and hide everything below score 3, you actually wind up with a list of comments that are worth reading. All the trolls are gone, and the posts are genuinely Insightful, Funny, etc.

        I often don't even read the linked article because I can
    • I've noticed that GoogleNews routinely carries headlines from /.

      To be honest that was a surprise to me. It's well known that /. isn't particulary impartial and it's reporting is never particulary accurate.

      Therefore I would have considered it odd for a news source, even if it is news in the strictest sense of the word.

      If I was in charge of a news aggrigation site I probably would leave out /. for that, plus any other heavily biased sites in order to maintain a balanced amount of reporting.

    • I know from experience that Slashdot is montiored by Moreover, however it doesn't come up very often.

      Unless the story is exclusive to Slashdot, Moreover usually picks another source with a better "news credibilty" reputation and sends Slashdot towards the back of the pile. (Let's face it... Slashdot has a publish first, check facts later policy.) MSN seems to be filtering further by only taking the most relavant stories, so unless Slashdot manages to break into the top 10 you'll never see it.

      I guess we'll
  • MSN Newsbot (Score:2, Funny)

    by Ridgelift (228977)
    "News flash: Linux Usage Causes Impotence ... Windows 2003 brings hope and prosperity to third-world contries ... Linus Torvalds: Subversive Fascist, or Raging Red Communist? ... Study shows Childen who use MICROSOFT products are smarter than their stupid peers ... MSN Newsbot Causes Correction in Polar Ice-Caps ...

    Warning: SQL error: [Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]
    Line 1: Massive Internal Server Hemmorage ','., SQL state 37000 in SQLExecDirect in
    E:\Inetpub\wwwroot\nip-sundown\include\php\
  • by jest3r (458429) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:24PM (#7511368)
    M$ launches news service
    M$ launches new search engine
    M$ launches music download servive

    it seems like M$ is scrambling a little bit, not quite sure what to do anymore. coming to the market second or third works when you can leverage your existing user-base in a controlled environment (think IE or Office).

    the trouble is the internet is not really a controlled environment like their os. even with a browser monopoly M$ hasn't really figured out what to do online .. the only success they have achieved thus far is by buying existing leaders (think HotMail).

    so as far as I am concerned as long as M$ is mired up trying to develop their own online services in-house the world is safe.

    • I imagine Microsoft will put something into IE on Longhorn to link into this, like a "show me my news" .

      There will also be options to pick from a list with "keep me informed about".

      Microsoft know that if you give someone something pre-installed like a browser, media player, zip utility, photo processing, or messenger, that they are likely to keep other players out because most folks can't be bothered or that the service they get is "good enough".

      Personally, anyone let's me near their PC (to fix) and t

  • by Cytlid (95255) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:26PM (#7511385)
    ... it's only in the uk? Maybe I missed something? I am a huge fan of google news. I am not a fan of MS and their divisions. But I will give it a try. It still bothers me... why only in the uk? Would others tend to trust this more? Isn't most of Europe really critical of MS and their monopolistic behavior?

    I think I'll try it for a week and see what happens. Reading a few of the other posts here, we can't tell if it's truely biased or not, but also, we probably shoulnd't judge until we've seen repeating patterns. Most folks here *know* what to expect from google, and slashdot, and other news sources. And we can, for the most part we can trust google to be non-biased.

    Let's see how this goes...

  • Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by neiffer (698776) * on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:28PM (#7511407) Homepage
    So, I looked at the NewsBot site and I suppose it's swell, but I still like GoogleNews better. Why? Maybe because deep inside I like Google and their business model better. I think Microsoft, who is not really loved among the masses (and I am a Windows user; I like XP although I use OpenOffice instead of Office XP/'03) doesn't really do much for itself when it slaps its brand on a product. Also, I have to wonder if MSN will make the classic mistake of making it overbloated like the rest of its sites. I see that now there is no advertising on it but when will that change? Also, I see the cheesie MSN banner on it. When will MSN start forcing you to sign into passport or worse Hotmail (gag) to get the news. Google is simple. Low bandwith (with an option for lower bandwidth yet if you want). There is no advertising on the news page. There is no need to sign into the collective.
  • Well, at first glance it appears that its top stories #1 and #3 are the same story from two different sources (Microsoft tests Web news service) and they both have the same headline. Doesn't Google News list similar articles like that together, so it only appears once?

    My prediction is that it will make headway among MSN subscribers who don't know any better, and AOL users who are lucky if they don't fall off their chair during the login process. These people will see MSN's News, think that this is how cra
  • I went to one of the "More News Stories" pages and then clicked a few links from there. I couldn't get through; all the links are apparently routed through "c.moreover.com," which my ad-blocking Hosts file currently has blocked.

    A Google search says Moreover.com is a blog search for businesses. "Moreover launches world first real-time weblog search to offer enterprises access to high value information." Anyone know why a Hosts file would block them?

    I can always unblock that line in my Hosts file, of course

  • by syr (647840) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:33PM (#7511449)
    Google News and the UK version of MSN News (forthcoming in the US I'm sure) are very useful sites, no doubt. However, because they are generic news outlets they lack the ability to truly specialize in any given area of news.

    If Google or Microsoft wished to truly compete in one segment (sports, politics, videogames, etc.) they would have to hire editors to manage those sections and provide a personal touch as well as specialized features for those sections.

    I am an Editor at GameTab [gametab.com] which is in essence an aggregate site for videogame news and reviews. We are a portal site (much like the Google/MSN news sites) which means that we're trying to be a jumping point for gamers to venture out into other sites. We don't create news ourselves, we merely report what news other sites are presenting and do useful manipulation on the data. In addition we present relevant information such as price deals, developer and fan created box art, torrent files, etc.

    For generic news these sites run by corporations are great. They are a strong challenge to outlets such as CNN or MSN.com itself. However, for the many areas of news people will always want that custom feel that they only receive when information is tailored specifically to their tastes.

  • by sielwolf (246764) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:35PM (#7511459) Homepage Journal
    Imitation is the sincerest form of Hostile Takover.
    • Yet it's questionable why MS needs to duplicate Google News... Google doesn't make any money off of its news page as I can tell. It's the AdWords service that pays for most of what Google does... why doesn't MS go after that?
  • Anyone else notice that if you put in a very general search term it claims to only produce 999 hits? Searches for both "Linux" and "Windows" produce this number.

    Why the artificial limit? Or is this just another case of wildly inaccurate statistics on the first page of results like the regular MSN search?

    On a side note, while the site looks a lot like Google News, it doesn't seem too bad to me. Maybe MS is getting the hint that impartiality of search results is the only way they will compete successfully

  • by avi33 (116048) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:48PM (#7511572) Homepage
    ...at some of the code that will drive this application.

    if (section == technology) {
    if strFound("linux", "J2EE") {
    mod_down()
    } elseif strFound(".NET") {
    mod_up()
    }
    }
  • by 4of12 (97621) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:50PM (#7511589) Homepage Journal

    I think it's good that Google has a competitor to keep them on their toes, honest, etc.

    I'd be really curious to know if there is any implicit shading of news happening by use of different technology or explicit policy.

    One way would be to do this comparison:

    1. Use Google's search engine to look up URLs that are critical of Google, favorable to Google, etc. and compare to using MS search engine to lookup URLs that critical of Google, favorable to Google, etc.
    2. Use MSN's search engine to lookup URLs that are critical of MSN, favorable to MSN, etc. and compare to Google using Google's search engine to look for, again, exactly the same topics.
    This might also be done with regard to favorite wavelengths on the political spectrum, too, to see if there's any differences in returned results that indicate a different political weight (intentional or incidental, as the case may be.)
  • Funny, I didn't even get as far as making fun of the MSN Newsbot news, because on one side of the page I get:

    Don't have a .NET Passport? To continue, you need to sign in with a Microsoft(R) .NET Passport.

    And then on the other side of the page is:

    .NET Passport Unavailable at This Site

    The .NET Passport service is currently unavailable at this Web site for one of these reasons: blah blah further useless error messages.

    This is truly awesome.

    "Hi, welcome to MSN Newsbot. Before actually reading any

  • by descil (119554)
    I don't know if google is ready to show this to the world yet, but it's in their labs, and most of you should already know about it anyway.

    When MS comes out with a full version of this [google.com], I'll consider going to their site. Until then, I'll just read my email for news...

    Google is teh r0x0r.
  • by wcbrown (184278) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @01:35PM (#7511946) Homepage
    Google News search for "MSN Newsbot" [google.com]

    vs.

    MSN Newsbot search for "Google News" [msn.com]

    It's a very telling search that compares the two services rather nicely.
    • MOD PARENT DOWN (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Entropy248 (588290)
      Of course a search for "Google News" turns up articles about MSNBot right now! There are hundreds of news articles about MSBot because of its more recent release! All of the recent articles about Google News compare it to MSNBot because it's obvious that since MS couldn't buy Google that Bill is going to try to compete with Google. Personally I think that rumor was a really distorted version of MS trying to either buy Google's news algorythm or buy Google NEWS outright since the price to gert instant access
  • by russotto (537200) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @03:35PM (#7513049) Journal
    And the best part about it is this is a new source of registration-not-required New York Times links.
  • by Zhe Mappel (607548) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @05:51PM (#7514541)
    So Microsoft is going to give us the "news," eh? And for free! How generous!

    From an early age Americans are taught to consume news from corporations. Too few pause to ask, "What might these giant concerns wish me to learn today? What might they not?" As we see in just the past few years alone, our news industry is as content to serve as a conduit for profitable lies as was the Hearst empire back in its yellowest days. Did you know the sky's the limit for Enron stock, and that the minarets of Baghdad conceal nukes pointing at us?

    For the descendents of the people who gave us luminous skeptics of power such as Twain, Bierce and Nast to suck at these monied teats is one thing. For them to suck their fill and think themselves "informed" is risibly quite another.

"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." -- George Bernard Shaw

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