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Microsoft Claims Worlds Best Search Engine Soon 536

Posted by samzenpus
from the google-fight dept.
kw writes "Microsoft will introduce a search engine better than Google in six months in the United States and Britain followed by Europe, its European president said on Wednesday. "What we're saying is that in six months' time we'll be more relevant in the U.S. market place than Google," said Neil Holloway, Microsoft president for Europe, Middle East and Africa. That timing would presumably coincide more or less with the launch of Vista."
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Microsoft Claims Worlds Best Search Engine Soon

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  • by pimpimpim (811140) on Thursday March 02, 2006 @08:08AM (#14833871)
    maybe Vista will have a default link to this site for everything that you do in Vista, more or less like the trick in IE now where any misspelling will lead you to msn search by default. That way you'll get the "more hits than google" allright. Still won't make you a good search engine though.
    • Why do you think Microsoft cares about making a good search engine? That would cost money.
      In the last year or so, Microsoft have never said that they'll make quality products - instead, this article says things like "Microsoft will introduce a search engine better than Google" and quotes someone as "What we're saying is that in six months' time we'll be more relevant in the U.S. market place than Google". They're not saying that they want to make a good search engine - just beating Google will suffice.

      Thank
    • by diegocgteleline.es (653730) on Thursday March 02, 2006 @10:06AM (#14834582)
      In vista (in IE7, actually), everytime you enter a url in the browser, the browser sends the url to microsoft to know if the url is safe or not

      This is sold as a "phising protection" - microsoft has a list of "bad" sites and the browser will know when you're being a victim of phising.

      On the other hand, this is also a useful trick to know what pages are visiting the 90% of the world population, a really interesting data source for a search engine.
      • In vista (in IE7, actually), everytime you enter a url in the browser, the browser sends the url to microsoft to know if the url is safe or not

        This is true but you can turn this "feature" off.

        • by GoodbyeBlueSky1 (176887) <joeXbanks@hotm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday March 02, 2006 @10:34AM (#14834808)
          In vista (in IE7, actually), everytime you enter a url in the browser, the browser sends the url to microsoft to know if the url is safe or not
          This is true but you can turn this "feature" off.

          I think GP's point was how, once again, Microsoft will use their OS monopoly to compete unfairly in another market (here, search engines. somehow the concept of searching online has now become a market...)

          In other words, who cares if you can turn it off? Most users won't. How many people turned off that fucking Clippy thing in Office? Not enough of em.
    • I'll be happy if web developers can quit wringing their hands over how to "optimize their site for Google".

      Too many people are skimping on quality content, and spending more and more time trying to "please Google". It has just gotten to the point of silliness.

      It's gotten to be a real problem. You can have crap content but come in first or second if you obsess over optimization, but if you simply concentrate on content, and not Google, you may not come up in a search.

      I'll would like to see an engine

  • I hope they do (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mccalli (323026) on Thursday March 02, 2006 @08:10AM (#14833884) Homepage
    Honestly, I hope that they do. I find the quality of Google search results has gone down, and I would appreciate a competitor doing better and forcing Google to take a more serious look.

    I don't mind that it's Microsoft, so long as the site is accessible from multiple operating systems and browsers. I honestly don't mind who it is, but I would appreciate seeing the link-farm problems disappearing. A competitor getting rid of them, and without plastering adverts of their own everywhere, would get my searching.

    Cheers,
    Ian

    • Re:I hope they do (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mgblst (80109) on Thursday March 02, 2006 @08:17AM (#14833930) Homepage
      I would love it if Google just banned some sites from appearing on their search results, like about.com. This would improve there service.
      • Just tweak your proxy or browser's configuration to append "-inurl:about.com" to google queries.

        Google will not arbitrarily filter stuff out like about.com since quite a few people actually use it. At best google will allow you to customize google.com/ig to filter sites, but all those queries will be logged with your username, which is something I would rather avoid.
      • That and anything with a hyphen in the name.
      • I know it's a pain, but you can add "-site:about.com" to your search query to filter out all results from them. Hell, wouldn't surprise me if there was a firefox extension that would let you add that automatically.
      • Don't forget "Experts Exchange". My last company paid for a subscription to that and most of the answers are either "RTFM" or just pulled straight from the newsgroup posting that is right under the 7 experts exchange hits on google. (Or, even more commonly, an RTFM pulled straight from the newsgroup...)

        I'd also like a separate search space for web-ified mailing lists. I don't like the first 20 hits for any technical question I ask being somebody (occasionally even me) asking the same question on a mailing

  • But that sounds an awful lot like marketing speak. Until I see otherwise I'm throwing this in with the "iPod Killers."
    • I agree:
      "The quality of our search and the relevance of our search from a solution perspective to the consumer will be more relevant,"
      Solution perspective my ass. That is not "Technology News", whatever Reuters says...
    • Yeah, and with "Unix Killer" (aka Wind0ze NT), "Mainframe Killer" (aka Wind0ze 2000) too.

      Vista I suppose would go along line of "consumer rights killer", "choice killer", "linux killer" or "mac os x killer". Everyone would get it preinstalled on all kinds of gadgets so it would immediately become "most popular" & "ubiquitous"...

      Thanks God, despite the "Killer" line of products from M$, we still have the choice: linux, mac os x & freeciv.

  • Its about time. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DeadSea (69598) * on Thursday March 02, 2006 @08:11AM (#14833887) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft has been showing the signs of being able to build a search engine to rival Google for some time now.
    • Bright people working for them
    • msnbot has been crawling as much as googlebot for well over a year
    Put those two together: a good source of data and a bunch a bright people and you should be able to build a great search engine. I've been waiting for MSN to turn up the juice for a while now. I've recently been seeing some signs of it, I don't doubt there are better things to come.

    Until three months ago, microsoft search seemed to favor front pages of sites to a ridiculous degree. Most of the traffic to the sites I monitor came in from the msn search engine to the front page. This was despite the fact that the crawler had visited scores of sub-pages. The only reason I can think of for this is that branded search terms would probably give better results. If you search for the name of a company, you would almost be certain to get their home page. It was almost no good for finding facts though. Recently this has begun to change and sub-pages are starting to see hits referred from msn search.

    I'm hoping that Yahoo picks things up too. With their recent purchase of del.icio.us, they have another fairly substantial datasource of popularity of pages. I'm hoping that they start giving Google a run for their money as well. I'm less optimistic with them though as their relevency team seems to be out of touch with users such as myself. They seem to highly favor in-house content over better external content and they seem to think that much of what people search for is items to purchase rather than facts or even product reviews.

    • Bright people working for them

      And those bright people give us Dance Dance Revolution to remove spam
      http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/03/01/141213 [slashdot.org]
    • Microsoft has been showing the signs of being able to build a search engine to rival Google for some time now.

      How much did they pay you [penny-arcade.com] to write that?
      • I think the term is AstroTurfer...

        It is known that MS infiltrates online forums to promote their agenda.

        Maybe now they are smarter and have outsourced this PR campaign through another company, like the Baystar deal. Something not so easy to track back to MS...
    • Microsoft has been showing the signs of being able to build a search engine to rival Google for some time now.

      * Bright people working for them
      * msnbot has been crawling as much as googlebot for well over a year

      Put those two together: a good source of data and a bunch a bright people and you should be able to build a great search engine.


      You've forgotten the (not so ) secret ingredient, that only Google bother implementing. On the internet, competitio
    • Google is relatively impartial. MSN's search engine favours Microsoft stuff to an enormous extent. Searching MSN for "pocket pc games" brings up MS's own Pocket PC site, which has absolutely no games on it whatsoever.
      • This is the key.

        From my perspective:
        Google serves me, and makes money in the process.
        Microsoft serves itself, makes money, and might serve me in the process.

        But I have the perspective of many others found here. I don't know how much of that perspective, wrt Google vs Microsoft is shared by the general population.

        It all boils down to this: Are the search results near the top useful?
        The common impression today is that Google returns the most useful links near the top. The only way Microsoft can move up in thi
      • And if you search for "video game console" one of the first sites that pops up is xbox.com. On the other hand, if you search for "operating system" one of the first things that pops up is the Linux entry in wikipedia. Funny stuff.

        -Eric

    • Why don't they just do it .. instead of announcing it 6 months in advance and having it suck ass in the end? Either that or be specific as to how it'll be better.

      This seems more a ploy to "fucking kill google"'s stock price and force them to go into some sort of scramble panic and take risks. I'm sure that they're working on some crap they think can rival google. But from what I've seen of live.com and start.com. They have no idea how to make an easy to use navigatable interface. I of course even did them t
  • easy... (Score:3, Funny)

    by alexmagni (190839) on Thursday March 02, 2006 @08:11AM (#14833890) Homepage
    they just have to patch the new IE shipped with Vista so that it redirects everything from Google to OurNewMSN.com ... provided that they're able to ship Vista in such large numbers that this move is relevant, anyway...

  • OK, Maybe... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ursabear (818651) on Thursday March 02, 2006 @08:13AM (#14833901) Homepage Journal
    So perhaps maybe Microsoft can build a search engine solution that is "better" than Google. Of course, there's no way to know until it is useable.

    However - and this is big - how can Microsoft change the habits and behavior of many millions of users? Google has almost become synonymous with "web search" in the hearts and minds of millions. Particularly among the folks under 20 (lots and lots of people in my life), the phrase "Google it" is used maybe more than once a day. I like to use much of Google as it is - familiar, reliable (as much as I need it to be), and always extremely quick.

    Can Microsoft become more important and more used than Google? I guess anything's possible, but I think time might tell us otherwise.
    • Do you remember (Score:5, Insightful)

      by OzPeter (195038) on Thursday March 02, 2006 @08:19AM (#14833936)
      AltaVista ?

      "However - and this is big - how can Microsoft change the habits and behavior of many millions of users?"

      AltaVista used to be *the* search engine a long time ago. So you could go back a few years and ask the same question about Google.
      • Yeah but Altavista never had the same mind share as Google. I never heard on a sitcom "Go search for it on AltaVista"

        My parents say "Google it." and they're 65 year old retirees.

        That's incredible mindshare. Now MS might make a better search engine but to think they'll root out Google in 6 months time is just marketing talk. No one really believes it.

        • I agree that Google has a huge mindshare right now, and that MS will be pushing shit uphill in order to compete (assuming that this announcement is not or vapourware or misleading). My point was that the GP had forgotten (or not known about) previous paradigm shifts in peoples search habits. It has happened before and it *can* happen again. But that does not mean it will happen in the same way/timeframe.

          I can't remember who this quote was attributed to, but the universal truth is:

          "And this too shall come
        • That's not exactly fair. OK, "google" has become an incredible trademark, but it has some things going for it that Altavista never got to have. For one thing, it can be used as a verb, which doesn't work for "go altavista it".

          Altavista was a nice project, I always liked that about their beginnings. Their "about" section at one point said "we started this because we wanted to see if we can index the entire Web". You gotta love that, and I think they succeeded there.

          Except that at some point they sold out or
      • But *The* Search Engine didn't have public acceptance, Only the techie geeks used the internet when AltaVista was popular. Before Google I used Yahoo mostly. AltaVista is much harder to type and Yahoo and Google only need 3 letters to type vs 6. It is just so much quicker to type, also those words most of the letters are close to gather on a QWERTY keyboard. yahoo. R-Index L-Pinky R-Index, R-ring, R-ring and google L-Index, R-ring, R-ring, L-Index, L-Middle. Vs. the others that require a lot of hand mov
        • AltaVista is much harder to type and Yahoo and Google only need 3 letters to type vs 6.
          Ah yes, typing av.com [av.com] in the address bar is so much work...
        • Before Google I used Yahoo mostly. AltaVista is much harder to type and Yahoo and Google only need 3 letters to type vs 6.

          Actually, AltaVista wins this competition easily: Only two letters are required (a and v).

      • As big as Altavista was, there were at that time (circa 2000) a dozen or so search engines. Now, there are really two: google and yahoo.
        And, Altavista never did email, maps, personal webpages, or advertising. People would rather get everything from a source they can trust (Microsoft, anyone?) than use a different search engine, a different email, and yet another company for blogs.
        As good as MS's search engine may be, google has already dominated pretty much all the web-based products out there. (MS reall
        • And, Altavista never did email, maps, personal webpages, or advertising.

          I beg to differ. Altavista had much of what Google has today, and they had it in the 90s. They offered email accounts @altavista.com, the offered some customization, and if anything they had too much advertising, to the point they started watering the results. They had image search IIRC, and newsgroups search. They may have had some partnership with an online mailing list website, I don't recall clearly.

          Except they didn't put everything
      • I can remember the quality of the searches from both of those.
        Alta Vista used to end up choked by the advertisers and marketers adding in spurious words to the pages.
        It was also not that user friendly to get a decent search on the go (although not too bad once you got used to it).
        Google on the other hand had (and still has) an excellent algorithm for gathering what you want from a very basic search string that's very user friendly.
        It also does this very quickly. I changed from Alta Vista (and Webcrawler be
    • So perhaps maybe Google can build a search engine solution that is "better" than Yahoo. Of course, there's no way to know until it is useable.

      However - and this is big - how can Google change the habits and behavior of many millions of users? Yahoo has almost become synonymous with "web search" in the hearts and minds of millions.

      - September 21, 1999

    • I agree with the parent.

      I saw a movie last night (Yours, Mine, and Ours) and they used the term "googled' in the movie, refering to googling for information.

      Google's more than a website, it's becoming a common household word.
  • Why do they do it? Is Microsoft THAT fucking insecure?
    • Not really. They just have a lot of shareholders that they'd like to keep happy, and talk like this generally helps to keep the stock price moving upward.

      Anyway, they won't get slapped with an anti-trust suit for just creating a new search engine, let alone talking about creating a new search engine. What would be anti-trust worthy would be integrating the search engine in with their new operating system. We won't see if that's the case until later this year, and I suspect that even Microsoft aren't arro
  • Google's results have gotten pretty lousy in the last couple of years. Their algorithms worked great 3 years ago. People have learned how to take advantage of the algorithms, and now the results are crap. Try to search for information about something, and you'll get the top 100 matches to sites trying to sell something remotely related to it. If Microsoft can figure out a way to separate informational sites, commerce sites, and opinion sites - and allow you to get what class you want - they can beat Google,
    • If Microsoft can figure out a way to separate informational sites, commerce sites, and opinion sites - and allow you to get what class you want

      They can't even allow me to select the words I want in a paragraph!
      It's the whole thing or none at all. If they can't resist telling me what I want to select, they will not make it easy for me to visit the sites I want.
  • Is this just Microsofts old tricks of anouncing lots of new products, to take hype and attention away from what is actually out there. Recently we had Origami, and now the world's best search engine.

    And why 6 months, what will they do that is so magical in 6 months?
    • I think it's even better than this. I believe Microsoft actually believes in all its own crap. And that are its death spasms, the same spasms that killed Commodore and Atari.

      Amiga CDTV? Amiga CD32? New AmigaOS? A few dumb investments that didn't even partially return the costs, or didn't even come to life, all after years of stagnation and Commodore died.

      Atari Jaguar, Tower ST, Atari Portfolio, and Atari died. Rapid burst of products nobody asked for and nobody really wanted, lots of hype nobody bought, flo
  • I have trouble believing that MS will launch anything in 6 months, never mind on time. It would certainly be a change for them. There is only one group of people that will believe this story... the people that don't know how to use a search engine. If you already know how to use Google or Yahoo, the improvements that are talked about in the story are not needed. Using a search engine is not a black art or anything, but it does require you to be smarter than the proverbial blonde, in the same way that owning
    • They have hordes of MS fanboys that will flock to it. I got sent to a network security class where the instructor's answer to everything was how wonderful MS ISA server was and how it can do anything your firewall,proxy,etc can do and do it better. He also called unix/linux "silly". Mind you I work on enterprise quality firewall and proxy hardware...I can't believe any serious enterprise would replace a real firewall or proxy with MS ISA server.
  • In other news... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by liangzai (837960)
    * Microsoft will ship its most secure flagship Vista this year

    * Microsoft will dominate the digital lifestyle soon

    * Microsoft will be better than iTunes any day now

    * Microsoft will soon fucking kill Google

    * Microsoft will soon prevail with its Windows Media architecture over the standard standards

    * Microsoft is not evil
  • by Vo0k (760020)
    The keyword?
    we'll be more relevant in the U.S. market place

    Not desktop, not user browser, not result list. Market place exactly.
    I think Overture tried that already: selling positions in search. It was a flop.
  • Better for Microsoft, maybe. However, for those who don't use Windows, and dont want the result of every query to be "Microsoft", "Alamo Car Rentals" or "Barnes and Noble" the choice will probably continue to be easy.
  • by a_nonamiss (743253) on Thursday March 02, 2006 @08:20AM (#14833941)
    Forgive me for sounding cynical, but we've been hearing a steady stream of these announcements for years now from multiple companies.

    If they were going to have a search engine better than Google, they would just do it, not announce it 6 months in advance. What, do they think that we need to prepare for this momentous event? Like our society isn't ready for a search engine of this power yet, so they need to warn us 6 months in advance to give us time to prepare?

    Stop making announcements and do it already.
  • Anyone remember the "Google killer" rumors from Microsoft, and when they later unveiled [theregister.co.uk] it, it was this earth shattering masterpiece [msn.com]?

    Since that fiasco*, I'll be a pessimist about these news.

    * = it's not really that terrible for a modern engine IMHO, but when Google exist and is at least as good, why switch? It seems most ended up using that logic.
  • If this isn't vapor ware, why in G*d's name do they alert the competition of this fact? I thought the normal practice was to slam your competition suddenly and without warning, which in my book doesn't include touting future plans before you're forced to do so.
    • Once upon a time, Microsoft's crappy Windows 386 was in danger of getting killed by OS/2. So they announced Windows NT - the killer ap that would be so much better than OS/2 it would be worthwhile hanging on to your DOS-based box until it was delivered.

      Eventually - ten years late - Windows NT somewhere near met its promise. Was it a failure? Of course not - even as vapourware it killed OS/2.
  • That is a great claim, but inquiring minds will wait and see.
    Google offers everything for free (with a little bit of advertising,) can Microsoft claim that? I think not.
    If Google offers a free O/S, that would be hard to beat.

    Don't be evil, speak no lies, and throw no chairs.
  • >> Microsoft will introduce a search engine better than Google

    Microsoft just don't have what it takes.

    It won't be at all innovative and it will be so skewed towards whatever products or services Microsoft are selling that it just won't be useful. The only way they will get market share is becuase they will make it difficult to not have their search engine as the default in vista. No doubt some 'security agent' or somesuch will keep resetting it if you change it.
    • Are you trying to say that MS, the pinnacle of honesty and goodness on the internet, would go so far as to hide information about its competetors from its users?! I bet the top hit for every linux search will be their highly accurate and relavent Get The Facts page! How much more honest, accurate, and unbiased can you get?
  • They've claimed to have the best OS for years too, and we're still waiting for that.
  • Once again, Microsoft finds itself trying to play catch up, as the world of computing moves beyond Microsoft's desktop monopoly.
  • Holloway said that the company has no plans to integrate its search engine into Vista, the new Microsoft Windows operating system set to replace Windows XP later this year or early next year

    I tend to think they should integrate it. I would love to have a text entry box along the task bar where I can enter a search term and then have the results pop up in IE. Integrating it would make it easier to search locally too.

    Eventually they will have targeted ads on everyone's desktop, which they will (hope
    • Eventually they will have targeted ads on everyone's desktop, which they will (hopefully) use to subsidize the cost of their OS.

      Yepperz, they already do. In XP.

      New install of XP. Very slow connection. I wanted to check something in docs for MySQL. These of you who know the docs, know it comes in a "convenient" 1.6MB HTML file. So I start downloading the file, 30 or so minutes pass and I play with tweaking the desktop in the meantime. I enter the "Plus" tab, change some settings and suddenly MSIE pops into v
  • This coming from the world's leading operating software maker, whose main product is so full of security holes, it's gotta new virus to exploit those holes on an hourly basis. Yeah, that's the kind of reliability and results *I* want.
  • "The quality of our search and the relevance of our search from a solution perspective to the consumer will be more relevant," he told the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit.
    Something about the way this guy talks tells me that he is probably one of the people least able to judge relevance to the average consumer.
  • Microsoft will introduce a search engine better than Google in six months

    So, in six months Microsoft claims to be better than what Google is today. Do they expect Google to be sleeping in the meantime?
  • ...Microsoft will be releasing a new version of windows which is better than OS X, soon.

    Duke Nukem will be out soon, too, and if you order before the end of the month, it will be delivered in a flying car.
  • ...and Uwe Boll is promising that Dungeon Siege will "be better than Lord of the Rings". I'll wait until I see it.
  • For Microsoft "More Ubiquitous" == "Better". Just as with a hundred other technologies they've unfairly leveraged their existing OS monopoly to spread, they will integrate their search engine fully into Vista (probably with some sort of "It's part of the OS, we can't remove it" claim) and they will be more relevent to the US marketplace at that point. That is unless the government steps in and smacks them down for re-committing the same crime they've already been convicted of...

    ...Yeah, I couldn't write t

  • I am thinking that with Vista with desktop searching the default search engine will be MSN.

    Sorta figures really. Microsoft did it with IE and set the default page to MSN. They didn't get in trouble for that.

    So everyone as they start picking up the desktop search stuff will be using that as well for internet searches, if they can get their shit together, there is no reason why they couldn't get a large portion of the market back from the Vista OS base.

    If they start feeding part of the data from the desktop s
  • Relevant in the marketplace != best
  • Yep, still smells like VAPORWARE.
  • What happened to that? Or is this a kinder gentler MS?
  • is if:
    1.They have ads that are as unobtrusive as google adwords.
    2.They can gaurantee me that the search results are 100% free from any attempts by unscruplous page owners to boost their results using underhanded tricks (cf the recent BMW case)
    3.They can gaurantee me that their search results are 100% accurate and that no-one has paid Microsoft any money to get higher results
    4.They can gaurantee me that they wont sell any info they collect to nasty people (spammers etc)
    and 5.They can come up with cool logos

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