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Microsoft Workers Prefer Google 378

Posted by samzenpus
from the best-of-breed dept.
dhollist writes "A story just released by the Inquirer shows that 80% of incoming search requests from Microsoft's domain arrived via Google's search engine. In contrast, 64% of Yahoo! staff and 100% of Google staff use their own company's search engine. How's that for a product endorsement? I'd guess that Microsoft may soon add google.com to the list of blocked URL's on their intranet."
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Microsoft Workers Prefer Google

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  • by ClamIAm (926466) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:09PM (#15580234)
    Film at 11.
  • ...in search queries!!

    ....and chairs. Sorry, couldn't resist.

    • by jkrise (535370) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @03:24AM (#15580988) Journal
      to make the problem go away!

      Executive Summary : Microsoft employees searching via Google.

      Affected platforms: All Windows versions, ALL Microsoft employees, Credibility, Quality, Public Image, Self-Respect.

      Workarounds A new Service Pack will be sent to you. This will forward all external queries via Anonymiser. Microsoft Domain stats will be protected.

      Mitigating factors 1. Mainstream media hasn't picked it up yet.
      2. Slashdot readers don't care much... infact, a majority of the Slashdot crowd use Windows.
      3. We don't care.

      Full solution: A new search engine is being built. This will get it's results from Google and display it as an MSN offering, with our ads. Beta for this expected in a week's time!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:10PM (#15580240)
    free flying chair screensaver
  • I've switched (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:11PM (#15580244)
    over to ask.com and haven't looked back. While ask.com may have a smaller catalog of indexed sites, the signal-to-noise ratio is far and away better.
    • Re:I've switched (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Petrushka (815171) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:32PM (#15580337)
      I tried ask.com for a while but gave up -- after I tried hunting for info on Australia's laws on pedophilia, and got told "you're not allowed to make that query" or similar. Well, gee, thanks, in that case I'll take my searches elsewhere ... Google gave me quite a lot of noise, as you point out, but at least it let me find the answer in a minute or so, as opposed to refusing to let me find out at all.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        ... after I tried hunting for info on Australia's laws on pedophilia ...


        So, you were searching for info on Australia's laws on pedophilia, were you?
        Well, why WERE you doing that?

        Hmmm, it's a little suspicious. ... Wait, are you some kind of ... lawyer???!!!
      • by jwjcmw (552089) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @12:19AM (#15580511)
        Just did a search on "Australia's laws on pedophilia"

        The actual text of the message is:

        "This query does not comply with Ask.com Terms of Service"
        • by SirSlud (67381) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @12:33AM (#15580550) Homepage
          "how to have sex with underage girls" succeeds.

          "best places to have sex with young girls" succeeds.

          "find sex with young kids" doesn't succeed.

          "find sex with children" doesn't succeed.

          "find sex with boys" succeeds.

          "find sex with young girls" succeeds.

          "sex kids" doesn't succeed.

          "copulation kids" does succeed.

          I think its the combination of words in a list 'sex' included in, and maybe some list, including 'kids' that fails.

          Also, any search with the word "pedophilia" fails. Probably self-defense; search technology cannot make the distinction between linking to bad 'pedophilia is good' results and the far more common 'pedophilia is bad' results.
          • by jwjcmw (552089) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @12:49AM (#15580600)
            And I noted that "pedophelia" (instead of "pedophilia") succeeds...and gives you the option on the side to narrow your search to "Preteen Girls Virgin"...so apparently the stuff they are protecting us (or them...whichever logic they are using) from is still there, you just have to know how to find it.
          • by this great guy (922511) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @02:38AM (#15580902)
            See parent post.
          • by Martz (861209)
            Right.. because kidie porn web sites use the "pedophilia" and other related meta tags to draw visitors in? I don't think so.

            If it was this easy, surely the law enforcement and child-protection agencies around the world would find the sites, take them down and prosecute the people running and visiting them.

            For a keyword like pedophilia or similar, its as dangerous to block the genuine search results as it is bad ones.

            If all of the search engines were like this, and if software products that "protect children
          • I was thinking about switching to Ask from Google. Now I'm not going to.

            From the above, it's obvious that Ask is one of these companies that has either taken it upon itself to decide what is and what is not suitable information, or has simply kow-towed to hysterical tabloid pressure. In either case, its results are now all tainted with reasonable doubt.

            Today the red flag word is pedophilia. What will it be tomorrow? Terrorism, drugs, abortion, homosexuality, evolution? What else are they censoring? Slippery slope 101. What happens when the next moral panic sweeps the American Bible Belt and the rest of us, the world over, have to put up with legitimate searches crippled by Ask's obsequious panderings to the whims of the mogul led ochlocrats?

            Screw their search engine! A random site selection is of more use to me now. At least it indexes more pages.
          • Hehe... Copulation Kids... That sounds like a new movie introducing Michael Jackson. :-p
        • by blamanj (253811) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @12:41AM (#15580578)
          Disturbing. Oddly enough, their terms of service [ask.com] does not say "Ask has the right to create censorbots that restrict what you can see on the web.

          However, if you look at their preferences page [ask.com], you'll see two options, which essentially say "Filter content, but allow me to bypass the filter" and "Filter content silently". This appears to violate their implied contract, i.e., that you'll have a chance to see "adult" material once you acknowledge the filter.
      • Re:I've switched (Score:5, Informative)

        by donscarletti (569232) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @02:15AM (#15580843)
        Australia has no laws on pedophilia.

        Pedophilia is a sexual fixation on children before puberty, most child molesters are not pedophiles and a few pedophiles are not child molesters. IIRC most sex crimes involving children are born out of the availability of that child, rather than a sick fixation on pre pubecents.

        Australian states have laws prohibiting the carnal knowledge of a minor (under 16 in all states IIRC) and anal penetration of a minor (18 in most states, 16 in some).

        Australian states also have laws imposing harsher sentances for sexual / indecent assult or rape involving children and broader definitions of what a sexual or indecent assault is in these context.

        There are federal laws prohibiting Australian citizens/residents from having sexual contact with minors (under 16) overseas, especially underage prostitutes/sex slaves.

        There are also laws restricting underage (under 18) pornography making it an offence to obtain or posess such media and an even bigger offense to create or supply it.

        There are also restrictions on the employment of sex offenders in industries that involve children. All child related facilities must be audited by the department of community service to ensure that they do not employ people convicted of sexual and/or violent crime.

        Penalties for most of these things are moderately harsh compared to similar countries, though carnal knowledge of a willing minor is not treated as harshly as it is in the US where it is considered to be a type of rape and sentanced as such.

        IANAL by the way. I just picked up a bit of legal knowledge from my lawyer parents. As an early teenager, my parents liked to remind me that if I was to have sex with a girl my age we would both be committing a fellony. I was always a computer geek so it never made any difference.

  • I wouldn't do it.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by viniosity (592905) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:11PM (#15580245) Homepage Journal

    I'd guess that Microsoft may soon add google.com to the list of blocked URL's on their intranet.

    Personally, I would keep the floodgates open. What better metric do you have than if you own employees use your product? If they shut it they'll have a harder time estimating how successful they are at capturing the search market.

    Generally, there are three components to a successful marketing campaign: Awareness, Trial, and Repurchase. MS has the benefits of Awareness and Trial at with their own employee base and are just sucking at the last portion. Once they get that right internally, they've got the pockets to tackle the first two.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The classic Microsoft 'slogan' is "eat your own dog food"; in other words, the programmers use the products they are developing, during the development process. This is ostensibly to iron out bugs. Using MSN search makes a lot of sense in that context. However, crucially, they need benchmarks to compare their search against. Google has been commonly recognised as the de facto standard, so should be used as a rival.
    • by rm999 (775449)
      I think that the statement "I'd guess that Microsoft may soon add google.com to the list of blocked URL's on their intranet" was a joke. Microsoft would never actually do this because it would look so bad - much worse than the employees using google 80% of the time.
    • by killjoe (766577) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @12:58AM (#15580624)
      They are probably using google to search MSDN like the rest of us are. It's usually much faster to search the MS KB and MSDN with google then to use the search "feature" of the MS web site.
    • by incest (622529) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @01:19AM (#15580687)
      Personally, I would keep the floodgates open. What better metric do you have than if you own employees use your product? If they shut it they'll have a harder time estimating how successful they are at capturing the search market.
      Eh, I'd take the exact opposite stance. Programmers are, let's face it, completely nerdy compared to the general population. My dad, for example, writes e-mails in all capital letters. He doesn't know not to, and I figure he's old enough to have the right to e-mail people however the hell he wants. A programmer would never write an e-mail like that. They're not who Microsoft is targetting. They're trying to get all the people juuuuuuuuuust smart enough to listen to their kids/friends/parents/uncles/that neighbor boy with the warez ad in the local newspaper when they say, "switch to Firefox and I wouldn't have to fix this every other week" and "ask.com sucks, use google."

      Because that's a gigantic chunk of the market, and that's probably where your boss lives. And your boss has a lot more control over the software purchasing than the programmers.

      In any case, since I don't think the metric's particularly good, that's one reason to shut it down. The other is just the ol' "eating our own dog food" thing. This is an ugly piece of PR from MS's perspective. They look like their own employees are saying they have inferior software. Mostly because they do (I think. I'm sure some astroturfer will be willing to explain to me why that's wrong, whether I ask for it or not). But it doesn't matter if the employees use google because google threatened to kill their significant other and/or kids and/or dog or because the microsoft search engine requires you to infect yourself with AIDS before you can use it--the PR potential of the facts is still bad.

      Plus, I'd imagine being forced to use the crappy MS search engine would spur those engineers on to new heights of programming just to try to make the damn thing the Google Killer they want it to be. And lest ye all think I'm some kind of mindless anti-Microsoft drone cleverly disguised as an Internet pervert, I assure you, I would use Microsoft's search engine if it were better than google's. That's a big if, I think, but I'll give them a shot at it. I think they're going to fail, but I'll give them their shot. Hell, I used to think I'd never be willing to spend the time it takes to download mp3's. I have been wrong before.
      • by plover (150551) * on Thursday June 22, 2006 @01:45AM (#15580768) Homepage Journal
        My dad, for example, writes e-mails in all capital letters. He doesn't know not to, and I figure he's old enough to have the right to e-mail people however the hell he wants. A programmer would never write an e-mail like that.

        Speak for yourself, young'n. I was programming before you were an itch in your daddy's pants. And back when I was a kid, we only HAD capital letters. Yes, sir, a six-bit character set was all we had, and we liked it! We were grateful for every one of the six bits we were given, thankful that we had a character set that supported both letters AND numbers.

        Who needed those fancy-schmancy lower case letters, anyway? They were for show-offs, them and their lah-dee-dah eight-bit character sets. "Oooh, look at me, Mater, I've got both UPPER and lower case in my EBCDIC character set! I'm off to punch cards by the Grand Piano!" Well, we didn't have that rich-kid kind of money. Even if our terminal controllers did send us seven bits, we only had an upper case font cylinder in our Model 33 TeleType. And it was good enough for us! And we sent our email to real names, like SWEETHEART and PILOT and POET, not to any of these special character leet-speeking punks, them and their hoity-toity "domains"....

        ... zzzZZZzzz ...

        Wha? What are you doing here? Get off my lawn, you damn kids!

        • by 10Ghz (453478) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @04:49AM (#15581137)
          You had a character-set? Damn you were lucky! Back in MY day all we had was a bunch of rocks, and we communicated by banging the rocks together. And what is this "programming" you talk about? All we could do wast to make a big pile of rocks, and smash it with even bigger rocks, hoping that something useful came from it. And we LIKED it that way!
          • Rocks!! Do you know what we would have done for rocks! A good honest rock could get you places.

            No Sir. All we had was mud. Mud and straw. We used to pile the mud up into segments to make registers and then use the straw to represent numbers. We didn't have any of your holier than thou binary formats. No Sir. We had unary and we liked it. Our ALU was just Andy, Larry and Upton. Andy would do the addin', Larry the subtractin', and Upton would move the straw around. He was a good kid.

            And if you wanted "memory", huh!, memory, well sir you could just pile up some more mud for fifteen miles to get about a kilobyte. Can't say that Upton would thank you for it, mind. Course in those days all our algorithims only needed about twelve bits of memory, so you could get by with only two fields or so of mud segments.

            Capital letters! Huh! We didn't even have letters. We just sent and recieved the datastreams as raw numbers. You had to figure out yourself what was going on. The straws were floated to us down small rivers. Pretty bad packet loss, and in those days if you lost a packet, well sir, you had to go upstream and danm well find it again, or there'd be no mud supper for you! Great days.

            Rocks! Some people don't know what honest labour is anymore.
  • There are a handful of pages that proxy to google... for example [scroogle.org].
  • Specmanship at its finest.
  • duh (Score:3, Funny)

    by Alien Being (18488) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:12PM (#15580251)
    Google, unlike Microsoft, is a company which found success by providing the best product.
    • Re:duh (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Skreems (598317)
      I call bullshit. The numbers are likely inflated, and here's why:

      Say a Microsoft employee performs a search on both Google and MSN/Live.com. They compare the search results, and see which one is better. I'm guessing this happens relatively often. Now, the MSN search may or may not have what they're looking for... maybe they click a couple links, maybe they don't. But Google's pre-fetching mechanism starts downloading the top 3 or so pages. They automatically get hits, whether the user clicks on them or no
  • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:13PM (#15580253) Homepage Journal
    Usually it's Microsoft employees who are drinking the coolaid.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:21PM (#15580294)
      > Usually it's Microsoft employees who are drinking the coolaid.

      In Redmond, they don't call it coolaid. They call it dogfood. And for good reason.
      • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:28PM (#15580323) Homepage Journal
        koolaid (yes, I mispelt it) and dogfood are two different concepts. Ironicly, you to drink the koolaid is to be dogmatic whereas to eat the dogfood is to be pragmatic. You drink the koolaid to show you believe in the superiority of your product. You eat the dogfood because you recognise that your product is not perfect and hope that by using it daily you will see where improvements can be made. Either way, it seems Microsoft employees neither think their product is superior, nor recognise it as imperfect.. the former is surprising, the later is just what we've come to expect from them.
        • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:45PM (#15580381) Journal
          Um, I always thought drinking the koolaid refers to the cult mass suicide...
        • by xiphoris (839465) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @02:29AM (#15580878) Homepage
          Eating dogfood properly doesn't require doing it every day. I'm a Microsoft employee and I've used Live search exactly enough to report all the important bugs I feel exist. The number one thing that bugs me is that Live results don't appear instantly if you hit "back" from a clicked-on page to return to search results; the JavaScript appears to load it again from the server.

          Beyond important feedback of that sort, one should always return to the product one prefers for development. My experience at MS is that employees use whatever they prefer: VIM, Emacs, Visual Studio are all in force. We encourage dogfooding to a great extent, but it's obviously never more important than having other teams legitimately get their work done. I work on Visual Studio, and while it disheartens me to hear some people might rather use VIM as their editor, one must be realistic and assume one's product cannot cater to all people. The best we can do is learn from existing software and how our clients (internal and external) want it to work and improve.

          I have not heard anything about coolaid. Dogfood is a very different story.

          Note: I am a Microsoft summer intern, so my views don't reflect those of MSFT and such. However, I must say it's generally a very positive atmosphere and beyond the dogfood aspect ("Help other teams test their products in real world scenarios") the culture seems supportive of "use whatever tools to get the job done". People are not fanatics nor blind. It has been a thoroughly positive experience so far :)
    • Of course. And the Google employees just freely pick the best product. That's why the stats for Google/Google are 100%.

      It seems like Google would at least be running tests on other search engines to compair. Seems like the number would have to be at least 99% and probably more like 95% to be believable. Does anybody else wonder about that number?
  • block it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PresidentEnder (849024) <{wyvernender} {at} {gmail.com}> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:13PM (#15580254) Journal
    While it would fit with human nature if Microsoft blocked Google on their intranet, it makes more sense for Microsoft to use this in-house as a barometer of their own performance: if Google use falls, and Microsearch use rises, then they're succeding; if the opposite happens, then they're doing something wrong.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:18PM (#15580275)
    The sample size, for this single person's site, is around ~500.

    Hardly statistically adequate.

    This is an attention grabbing fluff piece.
    • by peterfa (941523)
      Actually, that's very statistacally adaquate, given that it's a random sample. The sample of the Microsoft company isn't randomly selected, and it wouldn't matter if that's a million people. It's a bad sample, but not because of it's size.

      What one may find surprising is that it takes maybe only 100 people depending on other issues to make a determination. In fact, as few as only a handful of people can be a good sized sample given random selection, in a few cases.

      It has to do with standard deviation more

    • by adpowers (153922) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @01:11AM (#15580658)
      My original sample [andrewhitchcock.org] was very small (maybe 20,000 hits in total, with only some of them being from the companies in question). However, Philipp Lenssen over at Google Blogoscoped took a much larger sample [outer-court.com] and got similar results.

      Of course, when you get your news from the fourth tier of information (one not particularly known for respectability in the first place), you are more likely to get some misinformation. In this case: my website->Google Blogoscoped (where more content was added)->Tech Web->The Inquirer.

      Andrew

      PS: This has gotten way more coverage than I ever imagined. First it was dugg and now slashdotted... wow.
  • by Utopia (149375) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:18PM (#15580278)
    ... visiting via a search engine.

    For a company with what about 50000 worldwide employees?

    Hmm.
    • And measured taken over a 6 month period.

      Hmm indeed.
    • by aprilsound (412645) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:27PM (#15580314) Homepage
      For a sample size of 50 with 95% confidence we can say that the margin of error is about 14%. (link [isixsigma.com] if you doubt)

      That's still looking pretty sad for Microsoft.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        ...provided it's a *random* sample. Here what we're really saying is x% of people who read the Inquirer and work for Microsoft use Google. Maybe Google is just popular with Inquirer readers in general, or that people are more "successful" finding things on the Inquirer site if they use Google (i.e., the Inquirer does better search engine optimization for Google than for other search engines).
      • by swiftstream (782211) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @02:07AM (#15580829)
        There are numerous problems with the analysis, including that there's no randomization, which makes any statistical inference to a broader population invalid anyway. Of course, journalists and such ignore this all the time. Even introductory college statistics textbooks sometimes make it seem OK to do inference when there's no randomization.

        It may be, also, that this guy's site is ranked higher on Google than on MSN or Yahoo, which would make the proportion of MS employees coming from Google higher than the proportion which actually use Google regularly. This is called a lurking variable, and I'm too lazy to test it right now.

        IAASM (I Am A Statistics Major)
  • Front Page News! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by adam31 (817930) <adam31@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:21PM (#15580297)
    No, not really.

    Why Slashdot would link an Inquirer story is beyond me. Maybe Slashdot is for entertainment purposes only, but "News for Nerds" ought to be supported by some attempt at Fact. The Inquirer is just a machine meant to cause a ruckus for the purpose of page hits... any ounce of partiality or balance of truth be damned if it detracts from the hit count.

    Linking stories from the front page is just feeding it. It's not news.

  • by ThinkFr33ly (902481) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:26PM (#15580313)
    Let's see, a tiny sample size and a web site that refers to Microsoft as "the Vole" isn't enough to derail this bad boy from its trip to the front page. After all, it's anti-MS so it MUST be true!

    Wait... I have an idea!

    1.) Write anti MS blog entry with lots of unsubstantiated or specious claims.
    2.) Place tons of AdSense ads on it.
    3.) Submit it to Slashdot.
    4.) Sit back and watch the cash flow in!
  • As a counterpoint (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Bungi (221687) <thebungi@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:27PM (#15580318) Homepage
    Maybe Slashdot would like to release its server logs of the past five years so we can see what operating system the open source community uses?
    • For that matter, why not see the number of MS domain users who came from a Google search to Slashdot? Doubtless a much higher sample size than the original article. Then you could see browser stats, I suppose. Hopefully no one would be surprised by the Firefox users, Apple/nix users, and whatnot. MS folks are still techies, believe it or not (except the chair throwers).
    • There was actually a poll a few years back asking people what OS they used and another asking about browsers. I believe at one point the editors did break out the numbers and showed that something like a bit more than half of all hits came from Windows machines. Some observers said that they don't get a choice of OS from work. Others said that /. has, despite its origins, actually become a polytheistic site WRT to OSes.
  • by arbi (704462) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:32PM (#15580335)
    probably because it's the default search engine for Firefox :P
  • by saleenS281 (859657) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:34PM (#15580347) Homepage
    Why do I get the feeling "microsofts domain" included MSN.com, and the reviewer failed to point out that msn is actually an ISP as well. It's real easy for google to attain 100% when they don't actually serve any end users. The results just reek of setup to me.
  • by TJWitz (719055) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:48PM (#15580395)
    all we need to know now is what % of google employees use a windows OS at google HQ. Merely to balance out the level of asinine statistics/articles in the world, naturally.
  • What's the big deal? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ianlee74 (982977) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:49PM (#15580402)
    I've had the opportunity to work with several Microsoft groups over the years in development projects and one thing that always impressed me about the insight that I got about the culture there is that they are always allowed to use the best tools available. Regardless of whether it's a Microsoft tool or one of their competitors, management doesn't care. The objective is always to empower their employees with the best tools available. Of course, this also allows them better insight into what their competition is doing and helps them focus on the tools that they need to improve upon. I seriously doubt that you'll see MS blocking google.com anytime soon...
  • by Sathias (884801) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:56PM (#15580427)
    Google employees probably use Microsoft's Operating Systems more than they do Google's ;)
  • Most important flaw (Score:5, Informative)

    by MarkByers (770551) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @12:18AM (#15580503) Homepage Journal
    There is a really obvious flaw in the way these statistics are being interpreted that everyone seems to be ignoring. There are other flaws too, which have been mentioned, but the most important flaw is that the sample selection is not random nor representative of employees of the companies.

    The site owner openly admits that 80% of the hits come from Google. This could be because his site is rated highly in Google. That's fine.

    But if most of the sites visitors are using Google, it is hardly a surprise that the percentage of people in Microsoft using Google as their preferred search engine is estimated too high. The employees that do not use Google are not getting counted because their preferred search engine rates his site lower.
  • by cmoney (216557) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @12:24AM (#15580521)
    So first it's iPods being the preferred mp3 player and now Google is the preferred search engine. Do they want PS3s and OpenOffice also?!
    • by mingot (665080) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @12:38AM (#15580568)
      You do realize that the people who work there are just that... people. They are going to use whatever they think is the best tool for them, within reasonable limits. Since Apple makes the best mp3 player that's what the employees are going to spend the money on. Ballmer can throw as many chairs as he wants and that's not going to change. If the PS3 has the goods they'll have that. As long as Google is a better search engine it'll be used. But really, lets not kid ourselves about OO.
  • I'd guess (Score:5, Insightful)

    by batura (651273) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @12:37AM (#15580563)
    I'd guess that Microsoft may soon add google.com to the list of blocked URL's on their intranet."

    I'd guess that you're an idiot then. There's no way that MS would block the most useful search tool on the internet just because they are trying to compete with it. I know its typical slashdot to believe in the MS culture of only their products are good, but I know plenty of MS employees that have Gmail accounts and was even contacted for recruiting through a Gmail account. And, another reason to keep searches open to google is to compare results from google to those obtained with Live.
    • Re:I'd guess (Score:4, Informative)

      by DavidD_CA (750156) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @01:21AM (#15580696) Homepage
      I couldn't agree more. Microsoft has frequently been a user of its competitors' products. Its webpages are full of Flash and PDF files, despite having competing technologies. And I highly doubt that their marketing department is forced to use Paint (or Photo Draw) and Publisher.

      While I can see the need to require employees to use Outlook, Word, and Excel for collaboration, I highly doubt they would go much further than that.
  • by ramakant (256472) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @12:50AM (#15580604)
    Microsoft's stated goal is to beat Google at the search game. It seems pretty logical to me that they would be using Google's and Yahoo's search engines in order to generate competitive intelligence and understand what they are doing wrong. I work at a mobile search startup, and I use Google's and Yahoo's products that compete with ours everyday. While Googlers are busy staring at their own reflection in the mirror, Microsoft just might catch up. If I were Steve Ballmer, I'd be pleased with this.
  • by Dracos (107777) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @01:14AM (#15580670)

    So, 80% of search requests from Microsoft's network go to Google. On the surface, one might assume that this is entirely MS employees (ie, humans) generating this traffic.

    But, how much of it could be MSN Search servers mining Google for content?

  • This is about using something that JUST WORKS.

    Seriously, Microsoft simply doesn't have the infrastructure that Google has. They're SPECIALIZED in searching. Microsoft can't just beat that. They have to accept it.

    But look at it this way. If Google helps Microsoft be more efficient, is there any problem with that? Rejecting a very useful tool JUST BECAUSE it's the competition, is simply ridiculuous.
  • by ptaff (165113) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @01:20AM (#15580690) Homepage
  • by dilvish_the_damned (167205) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @01:41AM (#15580754) Journal
    According to http://andrewhitchcock.org/ [andrewhitchcock.org] (which seems to be the source) the search for "Britney Spears" is well above the search for "porn", and I just dont buy it.

    Oh wait, now that I think about it he did not include the search for "lesbians caught in the act while I was walking my ferret". Which Specifically does not include the word "porn". I begin to see the issue...

    Anyhow, this Andrew guy has articles dateing back to 2001. Its mostly trivial stuff relating to his life until recently. And then it relates to google. So my guess is that people who do a search on google sift through the pages of results and end up on his site. The way I figure it you pretty much have to be interested in google or Andrew before you could wind up there. So his statistics are probably correct. However, the test is screwed to begin with.
    So in the end there are two flaws. The fact that Nick Farrell does not seem to care about what he writes as long as its antagonistic (I use this one sample only as evidence) and the second flaw is that we are talking about it.

    Besides, I didnt see my searches for "lesbians" anywhere in the statistics, which doesn't seem quite right.
  • by jbx (90059) * on Thursday June 22, 2006 @01:49AM (#15580780) Homepage Journal
    Nearly anyone at Google who wants to write a long document uses Word. If they want to work on a spreadsheet, they launch Excel. And a presentation? PowerPoint.

    And the predominant Google laptop? An IBM ThinkPad running Windows, with Office pre-installed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, 2006 @02:08AM (#15580831)
    Ask.com is worse than MSN or Yahoo. We once recently got an email from the higher-ups expressing their disapointment that something to the effect of 90% of all searches in the company were to Google.com and not Ask.com.

    I say this as an Ask employee and post this anonymously for this reason.
  • by harmonica (29841) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @02:36AM (#15580898)
    Google has the best search results. Microsoft employees know that. They use the best tool for the job. So?

    Wasn't there a Slashdot story in the past on how a lot of the Microsoft researchers use Linux machines for their daily work? If it makes them do their job better (because they come from a Unix background), why would anyone forbid that?

    Besides, does every secretary working at Microsoft have to know they do search as well and are in some competition with Google? Microsoft is much bigger than Google and does a lot more.
  • blocked traffic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by z_gringo (452163) <z_gringo@[ ]mail.com ['hot' in gap]> on Thursday June 22, 2006 @06:32AM (#15581289)
    I'd guess that Microsoft may soon add google.com to the list of blocked URL's on their intranet."

    Says someone who knows squat about Microsoft.
  • Only 80%? (Score:3, Funny)

    by mpcooke3 (306161) * on Thursday June 22, 2006 @07:12AM (#15581344) Homepage
    I assumed that MSN search proxied *all* requests through to Google.

    Perhaps the MSN servers serve a cached response 20% of the time :)

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