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Microsoft

Inspecting MSN Search 345

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the understanding-the-heart-of-the-beast dept.
ins0maniac writes "I compared Yahoo, Google and MSN's image search. I noticed that, MSN's search had images from only a few sites. I searched for keywords britney spears and randomly checked few pages upto page number 20 and found that the 400 images were only from 3 domains :| 5in9.com, celebritypicturesarchive.com and nabou.com. This is totally weird as it doesn't seem like a search engine, but a collection of few online galleries." There's a number of other interesting notes in the entry about the new search engine. Also, Britney.
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Inspecting MSN Search

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  • by bigtallmofo (695287) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @09:24AM (#11550079)
    This is a standard Microsoft tactic. It shouldn't surprise anyone.

    1. Launch a web site in a particular genre but don't actually have any real functionality
    2. Distribute a press release
    3. PROFIT!!

  • search filtering (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @09:26AM (#11550094)
    So, did you turn it off before the search? I did.
  • Errrr.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JamesD_UK (721413) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @09:27AM (#11550101) Homepage
    So from one single query to the MSN search engine we're meant to draw some form of conclusion? Could it just be that the search engine has determined these domains to hold the best results and just returned these images?

    Other searches [msn.co.uk] don't appear to be similar. I'm guessing that perhaps these companies have paid for higher placement on the example used in the article?

  • I seem to recall (Score:5, Insightful)

    by way2trivial (601132) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @09:30AM (#11550127) Homepage Journal
    discussions that- if google put adwords on the image search results, they were potentially crossing the line of using copyrighted works without permission- to turn a profit - perhaps MSN is only image searching/displaying where they have been given permission to display copyrighted images...
  • Expectations (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FullMetalAlchemist (811118) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @09:31AM (#11550138)
    I don't really expect anything from MSN search at this point, it will require some major fine-tuning to become really powerful.

    On the other hand, I don't expect any reviews of MSN search to be any good so early on either. Simply because, if you're a googler or some other search engine user, you like what that one offers for a reason; switching is hard.
  • Too New. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Deathlizard (115856) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @09:40AM (#11550211) Homepage Journal
    The MSN Search right now is too new to get an accurate reading on how it is going to ultimately perform.

    Google has been around for years spidering sites where MSN Search has only been around for a few months.

    The real test is going to be a year from now, when it's had more than enough time to spider a good portion of the web. Even Google's search paled in comparison to Altavista at first until at least 6 months passed. After a year passed its searches were much better since a good portion of the web was spidered by it.

    At this point in the game, It would have to be an absoletly amazing site to take Google out, and I don't think MSN Search is the site thats going to do it.
  • by jbeamon (208826) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @09:56AM (#11550324)
    This guy's nameservers are down. It's not that the webserver is down; you can browse it by the IP address listed in his whois information. It's that the webserver has a default Apache start page as its default and his domain as a vhost, but none of his nameservers are up to resolve requests for his domain.

    I'm amazed not only that so many posts were made "about" the story from various diagonal points of view, but without anyone actually browsing his site. It's even more interesting that his story got posted at all without the referenced content being reachable. I read a great story once at a web site that's no longer up; maybe I should post it!

  • by Otter (3800) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @10:15AM (#11550492) Journal
    Their page search DBs, yeah. But Google's image search updates on the order of months, not days. (Remember when they didn't have Abu Ghraib images for a while and Taco decided it was Crushing of Dissent by Karl Rove?) Presumably they update so slowly for a reason, one that might apply to MSN as well.
  • by dustmite (667870) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @10:25AM (#11550567)

    Those of us who've been around a while know the well-worn pattern:

    (1) MS sits on arse for years doing no innovation while another company produces an innovative, excellent, useful product and spends several years refining it and making it even better

    (2) Start to take notice as another company starts to get a lot of limelight in some mainstream market "space" it never occurred to you to enter

    (3) Announce intention to compete.

    (4) Spend the next couple of years with half-hearted attempt to play catch-up, producing a mediocre equivalent that's not really even terribly good. After a few hit-and-miss betas, announce "version 1" with much fanfare and lots of fawning press releases, with a product that basically brings customers what was already available five years ago from the innovative competitor, blatantly copied down to detailed elements of the user interface but it 'feels' like 'just a poor clone'

    (5) Spend another couple of years watching in frustration at low adoption rates of your product. Slowly improve product until it meets a "good enough" standard (still not as good as competitors, but "good enough"), and then ...

    (6) ... shove it down customers' throats by abusing desktop OS monopoly: Integrate own product into the next version of Windows so tightly that people almost have to use it, e.g. put MSN search box right into taskbar thus making it far less convenient to use other search engines.

    (7) Gain market share rapidly. Fawning press hails you as a great innovator. Ten years later, everyone thinks you practically pioneered Internet searching.

    Will it work this time? Probably.

    Mark my words, Longhorn will have an MSN search box built into the taskbar.

  • by PoopJuggler (688445) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @10:38AM (#11550694)
    Don't forget Xbox
  • by drsquare (530038) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @10:51AM (#11550880)
    Well, I think this demonstrates that in order to be successful you don't need to be the first to do something, but the first to do it successfully. They might not have come up with a lot of their leading products, but in the end they came up with something that beat the competition in the market, i.e.:

    Internet Explorer: Played catch-up to Netscape, caught it up, then overtook it. Now it's the world's widest-used and most well-known browser and Netscape was beaten into obscurity.

    Direct3D: Might have been behind OpenGL, but they took the qualities of OpenGL and made a product that at least matches it on features and blows it out of the water in regards to market share.

    Modern Desktop GUI: Yes they were playing catch-up with Apple, who in turn got the concept from Xerox, but they worked on the idea and now they have practically the whole desktop market saturated so much that even a possibly technically-superior free operating system struggles to get a foothold.

    Office products? Yes they may have been created by other companies, but Microsoft took them, and all 'Clippy' jokes aside, they turned it into a very decent product and it's dominated the market, and the 'other companies' are languishing on the sidelines.

    You may like to bash Microsoft for taking on other people's ideas, but what company only sells things they've entirely invented from scratch? Apple didn't invent MP3 players, Google didn't invent search engines, I don't see you bashing them, the originators of most technologies are dead and buried because they didn't do anything with them.

    In the real world, if you invent something, unless you patent it or implement it successfully, no-one cares that you invented it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @10:53AM (#11550910)
    Wait a few days, and see if this comment will be avalaible from google and msn...
  • by ClickNMix (218488) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @11:03AM (#11551057) Homepage
    This just looks like a bug, plain and simple - If you go to settings, there is an option to group images from the same site - checked by default - but taking it off has no effect, so if one site such as in this case has ALOT of images, its going to be a long way before you get onto the next site. Which you can pretty easy.

    Everything about this article is just based on one dumb luck search, and not alot else it seems. Sure it's Microsoft, so it's easy to get all het up, where as if Google made the same mistake, everyone would be much more likely to try figure out what the real deal was.
  • by pointyhairedmba (698579) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @11:12AM (#11551162)
    The notion of a "fast follower" is well known in the business world. You let other companies develop new technology and *most importantly* educate the market with their dollars. Then you enter the market as a fast follower with your product where you have learned from others' mistakes and successes. In many industries, it's actually an advantage to be a fast follower. For example when the cost of educating the market is so large as to suck off cash from other critical activities.

    Finally, MS has never really been known as an industry leader. They are a huge marketing machine. There's nothing wrong with that, you just have to realize that you don't have to be a market leader to be a success. I think that classic "tech" people often forget this.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @11:58AM (#11551642)
    Well, I think this demonstrates that in order to be successful you don't need to be the first to do something, but the first to do it successfully. They might not have come up with a lot of their leading products, but in the end they came up with something that beat the competition in the market

    Depends on what you qualify as success. Cramming products down consumers throats despite the deficiencies doesnt count. Microsoft is good at two things: 1: Taking the other guys idea, 2: letting their marketing machine convince the world its the best thing for them. Typically the reality says that their are more problems than benefits.

    Internet Explorer: Played catch-up to Netscape, caught it up, then overtook it. Now it's the world's widest-used and most well-known browser and Netscape was beaten into obscurity.

    One word: Mozilla.

    Modern Desktop GUI: Yes they were playing catch-up with Apple, who in turn got the concept from Xerox, but they worked on the idea and now they have practically the whole desktop market saturated so much that even a possibly technically-superior free operating system struggles to get a foothold.

    Struggling? I wouldnt say they are stuggling. Coming from behind, yes. In danger of failing at any given moment (as the term struggling implies)? Hardly. To coin a phrase, "Rome wasnt built in a day" Even Microsoft took a while before becoming what it is today.

    Apple didn't invent MP3 players, Google didn't invent search engines, I don't see you bashing them, the originators of most technologies are dead and buried because they didn't do anything with them

    True, however, your talking about abstracts as opposed to specific products. Apple didnt invent the mp3 player, it invented the iPod, which turned out to be arguably the best mp3 player on the market. Google didnt invent the search engine, they invented the way they DO search engines, which turned out to be the best. Microsoft doesnt innovate when it comes to implementation of a technological idea or concept. They wait to see how the rest of the world is doing it, and they either beg/borrow/buy/steal what they need to make a competing product.

    Microsoft has become the Wal-Mart of the computer world. Typically sub-standard products targeted to the consumer as a mass population.
  • by ravee (201020) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @12:00PM (#11551659) Homepage Journal
    reporter(666905) said:
    "The advantage that M$ has, over Google, is its huge R&D budget. "
    --
    Today's news said Google had raked in money which exceeded by many times its expectations - to the tune of several millions in advertising revenues alone. And it has a share base of more than a billion. So money is not a problem as far as Google is concerned.

    reporter(666905) also said:
    "M$ has plucked numerous professors from the computer science departments at top universities by offering incredibly high salaries."
    --
    True. But Google also has its share of scientists who are busy bringing out inovations. "Google News" being an excellent example. http://news.google.com

    ravee
    --
    http://linuxhelp.blogspot.com
  • by Gr8Apes (679165) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @12:31PM (#11552043)
    Egads, this is a +5 insightful troll? Well, here goes nothing.

    MS didn't beat the competition, the competition was unfairly bludgeoned into defeat.

    IE: bundled with OSes. Unfair tying when you're a monopoly.

    Direct3D: bundled with OS. Marketing BS, promises, and incentives to developers, who fell for it.

    "Modern desktop GUI": you're kidding, right? Next and OS/2 were the most advanced, arguably even by today's standards. (Haven't seen Be)

    Office Products: Again, you must be kidding. They used threats of increased OS prices to force vendors to bundle Office, so everyone got Office with their new PC. Several incompatible versions of Office later, everyone was forced to upgrade. Why? Well, when the big wigs in government, for example, got their new PCs with Office 97, everyone they dealt with had to upgrade, which cascades quite quickly throughout a 3+ million person organization that does incredible amounts of business with outside companies.... I wonder what that means for the rumored Mac adoption?

    Oh, and why doesn't Word allow me to do multiple page unmbering within a document easily? (Well, I stopped trying after OfficeXP) I'm talking about index page numbering, and then starting over with page "1" within a single document? It's not easy to do, if you can get it to do it at all. Also, why does Word print documents differently on different printers? I thought I specified the format, and the printer was subject to my whims, not the other way around? These observations by and large also apply to their other products, which are all pretty much crap.

    So, I don't like to bash MS for taking other people's ideas. I'm obligated by my sense of ethics and morality to post the truth when presented with incorrect data.
  • by fshalor (133678) <fshalor.comcast@net> on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @01:20PM (#11552652) Homepage Journal
    When they add the search button to only link (or automatically, same thing) to m$earch, then it's over for google. At least for all the people who don't know any better.

    M$ will make it one click eaisier to use m$earch in stead of any other search, and it will matter.

    But google will be here for quite a while.

    I seriously couldn't do my job without google. It is by far, the best tool I've ever had. I tried about 10-30 searches in m$ (all of which gave me the info on top 3-4 of page 1 in google), I had to go several pages to find pseuro related sites. (and half of the searches didn't find what I needed with the simple search terms.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:09PM (#11554208)
    Internet Explorer and Office have never been superior to the competition nor will they ever be. They only dominate because Joe Average does not know about the superior alternatives.

There is no opinion so absurd that some philosopher will not express it. -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, "Ad familiares"

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