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Microsoft The Internet

MSN Planning to Take on Google? 677

asyn42 writes "CNet is reporting what should be no surprise, Microsoft appears to be readying itself to take on Google for a position as the top search engine. The long range impact on the relationship between MSN and Yahoo/Inktomi is likely at risk."
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MSN Planning to Take on Google?

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  • by RobPiano ( 471698 ) * on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:40PM (#6245658)
    ... therefore Microsoft has now officially become the devil (it was assumed before).

  • by Geccoman ( 18319 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:40PM (#6245667) Homepage Journal
    Google has modified all Microsoft.com links to point to SCO's website.

  • by Piranhaa ( 672441 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:41PM (#6245671)
    What next? Taking over the internet? Oh i forgot, they already did :/
    • Re:tsk tsk tsk... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Lt Razak ( 631189 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:59PM (#6245990)
      Right, and now they can rank their own sites and products first.

      Why bother suing those microsoftsucks.org sites when they simply (mysteriously) don't show up on search engines?

  • No worries (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kagato ( 116051 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:41PM (#6245672)
    As long as they use Windows to power the thing google doesn't have to worry about MSN being king of the hill for search engines.
    • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara...hudson@@@barbara-hudson...com> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:48PM (#6245832) Journal
      ... except for Windows users, who will find that their pages are also indexed (now you KNOW where your files went today)

      ... for the humor-impared - it's a joke.

      ... for everyone else - it's not a joke!

  • Good Luck! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by w.p.richardson ( 218394 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:41PM (#6245673) Homepage
    Google is a brand at this point. It's a verb. It's as ingrained at this point as "Band Aid" for adhesive strip.

    That being said, if anyone can compete, it's Microsoft. They have deep pockets, but they don't always win (see UltimateTV, e.g.).

    • Re:Good Luck! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GauteL ( 29207 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:43PM (#6245724)
      I remember Netscape being quite omnipresent at one time. If they tightly integrate their search engine with Windows while making it work well, things might change.
    • Re:Good Luck! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by yppiz ( 574466 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:44PM (#6245742) Homepage
      Google is a brand, but the default browser start page is more so. Most users think of this page as "the internet."


    • Re:Good Luck! (Score:3, Interesting)

      Of course, MSN is still the default search engine in IE. And I know a LOT of newbies that still look there before they look at Google.
    • by Surakrout ( 674479 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:47PM (#6245801) Homepage
      Here's some more history [pandia.com] about Microsoft's (MSN's) searching capability.
    • Re:Good Luck! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pubjames ( 468013 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:49PM (#6245848)
      Google is a brand at this point. It's a verb. It's as ingrained at this point as "Band Aid" for adhesive strip.

      I'm afraid that the fact that Google is associated with searching at the moment is not a very strong reason for it to remain. I remember when I would talk to people about the World Wide Web and they would say something like, "oh, you mean Netscape? I've got that on my computer!"

      I hate to say it but microsoft are in an extremely strong position to crush Google. Just come up with something that is nearly as good and then integrate it completely into Internet Explorer and the OS. It will be another example of them leveraging their monopoly power, but since they've found they can get away with it, what's to stop them?
      • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @04:36PM (#6247269)
        I hate to say it but microsoft are in an extremely strong position to crush Google. Just come up with something that is nearly as good and then integrate it completely into Internet Explorer and the OS. It will be another example of them leveraging their monopoly power, but since they've found they can get away with it, what's to stop them?

        Here is what will stop them - Google can and does keep up with the times, updating their engine. Even if MS had the competing technology today, they would have to get it integrated into the OS/Browser. It won't happen with the OS, people don't upgrade that often, and it takes MS a long time to come out with a new version. IE may be a better candidate, but everyone doesn't upgrade their browser very often. (mass majority)

        How they would be able to compete is to change what is already integrated, like if they updated MSN. (which is probably what they are doing). So further integration into the OS won't help them, it will become outdated very quickly.

        And if they try to take on Google in the centrally located search engine, they can't do it. MS cannot innovate as fast as Google, period.

        That being said, Google won't last forever. I remember several other "kings" of the search engine - Yahoo, AltaVisa, NorthernLight, etc etc. Google has held on for a long time though, because they innovate. I think the only was MS could beat them would be to buy them. That is their MO anyway.

        • by oblom ( 105 ) <miscalculationNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @07:31PM (#6248885)
          So further integration into the OS won't help them, it will become outdated very quickly.

          What "integration" are you talking about? Do you mean that text input field that Google hasn't changed since it first appeared on the web? That's the only user interface that has to be integrated into OS. Period. Everything else can be done on MSN's network.

          MS cannot innovate as fast as Google, period.

          They don't have to. MS has always survived by the following motto: "Make it good enough, undercut prices, beat competitors to the market or try to make it a default choice." Guess what, it worked.

    • Re:Good Luck! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by siskbc ( 598067 )
      Google is a brand at this point. It's a verb. It's as ingrained at this point as "Band Aid" for adhesive strip.

      Certainly helps, but there have been other "ubiquitous" brands that have significantly lost marketshare if not gone under. Frisbee doesn't make all the world's flying disks. People use Curad, too, instead of Band-Aid. People use Puffs probably more than Kleenex. Pepsi has marketshare, despite Coke being generic for "soft-drink" in some areas. I don't know what Xerox's marketshare is, but the

  • How about.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Gortbusters.org ( 637314 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:41PM (#6245676) Homepage Journal
    Trying to take on google's API..

    Called MSNBot, the software scours Web sites and collects hyperlinks and documents. The software is part of MSN's effort to challenge Google by revitalizing MSN Search with its own algorithmic search technology.

    You'll never beat the mind-share that Google has. No-one is gonna use MSNbot as a verb, like "I just googled for planetside tips" or create sites like googlism [googlism.com]. Msnbotism? Hah!
    • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:44PM (#6245744)
      Exactly - it's like Xerox, Kleenex, or Lysol, only worse:

      You're talking with a friend about some obscure topic, and to find out the answer, your friend says, "I'll google it." He fires up IE and heads to the MSNbot web page, at which point you say, "Dude, I thought you said you were going to google it."

      Your friend thinks for a second, goes up to the address bar, and fixes the problem.

      • Re:How about.. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by notque ( 636838 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @03:02PM (#6246021) Homepage Journal
        You're talking with a friend about some obscure topic, and to find out the answer, your friend says, "I'll google it." He fires up IE and heads to the MSNbot web page, at which point you say, "Dude, I thought you said you were going to google it."

        This should be modded as insightful, not funny.

        I am quite terrified, cause I am sure this will happen at some point.
    • by rbolkey ( 74093 )
      How about MSNbotulism?
  • Haha! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PetWolverine ( 638111 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:41PM (#6245679) Journal
    Unfortunately for Microsoft, this is one area where it will take real innovation to usurp the top player.

    You can't make Windows somehow incompatible with Google to force Windows users to use Microsoft's search engine. Google will find a way around it.
    • Re:Haha! (Score:3, Funny)

      by 3rd_Floo ( 443611 )
      They could just be mean and set $WINDIR\system32\drivers\etc\hosts file to contain: www.google.com
      or something evil like that...

      How easy would that be to include in their next IE security patch? =P
  • Wonderful (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cais ( 682659 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:41PM (#6245682)
    Let me guess... it tells YOU what your looking for?
  • by dzym ( 544085 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:41PM (#6245683) Homepage Journal
    How will Microsoft be able to take on Google? Google is currently every geek's favored search engine, and has wide popularity among everyone else as well. For what reasons?

    1. Near-perfect search accuracy
    2. Uncluttered page design
    3. Very few ads, totally non-intrusive

    What does Microsoft think it has going to counter that sort of incredible power?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:50PM (#6245865)
      Actually, they do have an ace up their sleave; Internet Explorer. Google can't force you to their site when you type in an invalid URL, but IE sure can.
    • What does Microsoft think it has going to counter that sort of incredible power?

      Copy it. Integrate it into IE and the OS. Case closed.
      • They basically do this already, though - IE uses the MSN search engine if you enter search terms into the address bar.

        One thing I suppose they could do is add some kind of totally open API for searches - google has a SOAP API but you're restricted on the number of searches you can do per day. Suppose MS offer the same thing, but with no restrictions, they could undercut google and attract web developers. Kind of like what they did to netscape by making IE available to all users for free.

        At the end of th

    • by Zathrus ( 232140 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:53PM (#6245900) Homepage
      Yeah, and I remember much the same being said about Yahoo! and Netscape back when they ruled the 'net.

      Funny how things change.
    • by EvanED ( 569694 ) <evaned@gmail. c o m> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:53PM (#6245902)
      No kidding. I just ran some informal experiments, and from when I hit enter after entering "msn.com" it was 7 seconds before the Mozilla logo stoped to indicate that the site was fully loaded. Google leaded in less than 1. Search.msn.com took 4 sec. (A repeat in IE to test against possible caching got times of 11 vs. 3 1/2 sec. search.msn.com time wasn't timed before it was cached at which point it loaded essentially instantaneously, as did Google.)
    • by notque ( 636838 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:55PM (#6245937) Homepage Journal
      My guess would be the very thing that seperates what geeks want, and what the general populace wants.

      Pretty Pictures.

      Just make a huge paperclip run and get you your search result, and bam. Instant hit.
    • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:58PM (#6245982)
      What does Microsoft think it has going to counter that sort of incredible power?

      Just playing devil's advocate (you did ask) but presuming they can get search accuracy within spitting distance of Google, their big advantage is Windows and Internet Explorer. (Yes I know, illegal bundling, monopoly, yadda, yadda... Who here thinks MS won't tie something into Windows if they can?) They could tie all sorts of interesting search functions into Windows and Office. Why fire up the web browser if you can search without it?

      I agree that it's unlikely MS will supplant Google but never underestimate a monopoly with $40+billion in the bank. Most people get to Google through Microsoft software. That's a perfect opportunity for MS to put itself in the middle. Not easy but definitely possible.
    • With Windows installed 99% of all computers, all they have to do is put search right next to the start button. I hate to say it, but people will use what come's easy first.
    • by jdh-22 ( 636684 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @03:15PM (#6246169)
      Microsoft won't be able to compete, but what they can do is possibly buy them out.

      Obligitory Simpson's quote:

      Bill Gates: Your Internet ad was brought to my attention, but I can't figure out what, if anything, Compuglobalhypermeganet does, so rather than risk competing with you, I've decided simply to buy you out.
      Homer: I reluctantly accept your proposal!
      Bill Gates: Well everyone always does. Buy 'em out, boys!
      [Gates' lackeys trash the room.]
      Homer: Hey, what the hell's going on!
      Bill Gates: Oh, I didn't get rich by writing a lot of checks! [insane laughter]
  • by macemoneta ( 154740 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:43PM (#6245719) Homepage
    Once Microsoft bought the government, buying Google was the next logical step.
  • too much money (Score:3, Interesting)

    by selderrr ( 523988 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:43PM (#6245720) Journal
    a typical example of microsoft having so much money that they don't know where to spend it first... And in a bizarre result, they tend to spend it on the thoughest oponents !

    Google is good and popular technology, very unlikely they can improve on it, yet they will throw millions at it just *because* it's a 'monopoly'. Very much like the XBox being the dead-end answer to the PS2.

  • Interesting (Score:3, Funny)

    by PhysicsGenius ( 565228 ) <physics_seeker@nOsPAM.yahoo.com> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:43PM (#6245726)
    Love 'em or hate 'em, Microsoft produces quality products. What can we hope to see from an MS-created search engine?

    • Good internationalization support. Contrast this with the Linux-run Google.
    • High speed returns. Contrast to the slow, BSD-run Yahoo.
    • Seamless OS integration. Contrast to almost any search engine, none of which tie directly to the browser, let alone let you search from inside a Word document or email message.
    • Standarization. Contrast this to the situation now, where almost everyone uses a different search engine, requiring website designers to submit their pages to hundreds of different databases.
  • by dh003i ( 203189 ) <dh003i AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:44PM (#6245738) Homepage Journal
    Unless they:

    (a) are as fast as google (yea, right)

    (b) are as clean as google -- no graphic ads, only small text ads (again, yea right)

    (c) Take the same strong anti-censorship stands that Google has taken (big yea right here)
  • Accurate results (Score:4, Informative)

    by Fiver- ( 169605 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:45PM (#6245756)
    Just for kicks, go to MSN's front page and search for Linux. If that's any indication of what their new search engine is going to be like, I'm sure we can rely on it to be a completely accurate and unbiased source of information.
  • by Swolt Up ( 454725 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:45PM (#6245760)
    Microsoft, the software giant, announced today that it was poised to take on God, Creator of the Heavenâ(TM)s and Earth.

    âoeI think we are ready for this,â said Bill Gates, who plans on renaming himself âoeThe Gatesâ. âoeGod has had his time running the universe, now itâ(TM)s my, err, our turn.â

    Microsoft would not comment on future plans if they do indeed beat God out as ruler of the heavens, but did say they plan on charging a license fee for living.

    God was unavailable for comment, but was heard laughing very loudly.

    Film at eleven.
  • by droleary ( 47999 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:46PM (#6245789) Homepage
    User-agent: MSNBot
    Disallow: /
  • by djembe2k ( 604598 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:47PM (#6245802)
    . . . I checked, and it forwards to a soft-porn cam site, and then takes you into pop-up hell. As a courtesy, I won't provide a link here.

    Apparently msnbot.com has been owned by Go Daddy Software since April of 2002, according to the WHOIS entry [internic.net]. Maybe they knew something we didn't?

    I'm sure when MS sues Go Daddy Software over this, it will show up here on /.

    • Most domain querys at netsol are just the top tier , a lot of registrars create a second tier (this helps cut down spam from crawlers that spam whois email records)
      so you often need to whois the registras servers to get the real owners details.

      so thesedays to identify the owner you need to use netsol first then query the server that that returns (in this case whois.godaddy.com)

      $ whois msnbot.com -h whois.godaddy.com

      and that returns..........

      400 N University Ave.
      Apt. 505
      Little Rock, Arkan
    • by zulux ( 112259 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @03:17PM (#6246194) Homepage Journal
      . . . I checked, and it forwards to a soft-porn cam site, and then takes you into pop-up hell.

      After switching to Mozilla, the only pop-ups I get when visiting a porn site are in my pants.

      http://www.mozilla.org -> Download version1.4b -> Install -> Edit -> Preferences -> Privacy and Security -> Poppup Windows -> Block Unrequested Popup Windows
  • no big surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EZmagz ( 538905 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:51PM (#6245867) Homepage
    Honestly, this shouldn't come as a big shock to anyone. What would shock me though is if people actually started using MSN's search engine over google. Google is the current king, and for good reason: it rocks. Extremely fast, no bloat, and (at least from personal experience) the results are right on the money. Call me a pessimest, but I doubt MS will be able to successfully incorporate all those qualities into a search engine, let alone a free one.

    This quote from the article raised a few red flags in my mind though:

    Microsoft is also developing search technology for the next version of its Windows operating system, code-named Longhorn, that could further its ambitions to take on Google. The search technology, borrowed from the company's SQL Server database, is expected to make it easier to find documents locally, on individual PCs, and across the Internet by linking to MSN's search services.

    Seriously, does anyone else see future security holes in this? Because I sure as hell do. Think of a misconfigured Longhorn box, open to the net, letting ANYONE browse through their entire computer. Think those Quicken docs are safe? How about your stored emails? Not that you can't already find this stuff on KaZaa et. al, but I see a more widespread problem here.

  • by Dark Paladin ( 116525 ) * <jhummel&johnhummel,net> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:52PM (#6245882) Homepage
    Who had a Microsoft rep in the office proposing the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars.

    So my friend said "All right - let's have a test. I'm going to have Google look for this search string that deals with Microsoft technical information - and I'll have the Microsoft technical page do the same thing. And we'll see who has the most accurate and fastest results."

    "But - but that's not a fair contest!" the Microsoft rep told him.

    "No," my friend said, "It's not, because Google just returned the results for its entire current storage of the Internet, and the Micorosft Technet search engine is...still looking."

    Should Google be worried? Naturally - always be paranoid about competition. The best thing it can do is keep going to businesses and say "What do you need to look up?" and figure out how to make their system work for them. "You want to search emails super fast? You have tons of documents you need to search through?"

    To be honest, Microsoft has not succeeded very well outside the operating systems - look at handhelds, cable access - MSNBC is doing all right, but I attribute that to the NBC rather than the MS part of it.

    Google has a lot of brand name, it has proven, cheap, realiable technology that is getting better. As long as they keep that edge, keep pushing the envelope, keep talking to businesses/consumers and find out what they want and deliver on it, MS will be left with YAMSP (Yet Another Money Sucking Project).

    Of course, I could be wrong. But based on my Safari and Mozilla browser searching Google and my non-Geek wife actually using the words "I'll just Google that later", I'm not too worried.
    • "No," my friend said, "It's not, because Google just returned the results for its entire current storage of the Internet, and the Micorosft Technet search engine is...still looking."

      Microsoft Technet is not a revenue generator. Google is a revenue generator.

      MSN search is/will be a revenue generator. Therefore they will actually spend money and effort on it.

  • Google API (Score:5, Informative)

    by Therlin ( 126989 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:54PM (#6245919)
    And don't forget about Google's API which works with several programing languages and gives the developer a lot of functionality.

    I bet that MS would not offer that, or maybe a .NET only feature.

    Google is more than just a search engine.
  • by deego ( 587575 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:54PM (#6245929)
    Recently, My site was almost DOSed by bots originating from MS. I blocked the appropriate string in robots.txt and they stopped.

    A few weeks later, bots again originating from MS showed up, this time from about 10 different IP addresses.. and with no user string to block them.. maybe it's just me too ignorant and lazy to figure out how to block them, but i gave up.

    BTW, fi i had my way, I wouldn't want MS bots on my site even if they were well behaved.
    • by nchip ( 28683 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @03:44PM (#6246570) Homepage
      MSN search bots definetly are hostile to the internet.

      On my server, I had this experimental php script that just prints new lines in a loop forever.

      Well, a brilliant bot from MS address space (it didn't identyfy itself as anything else than IE) didn't read the robots.txt (which denies everything) and found its way to the script. When I later started wondering what was jamming my ADSL, I realized that the bot had hammered the script a bit over hundred times, each time timing out after downloading about ten megs...
  • by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:58PM (#6245979) Homepage
    Pardon my flagrant opnionation here, but I envision the following:

    MS Coder: Boss, we've got a problem.
    MS Boss: What is it?
    MS Coder: It turns out you can't trust the "keywords" meta-tag.
    MS Boss: What?!?
    MS Coder: Seriously. Some unscrupulous people abuse it.
    MS Boss: Crap. Now what?
    MS Coder: Well, it seems we're going to have to come up with a smarter algorithm than "index by keyword metatag".
    MS Boss: But Google didn't have to write any fancy software.
    MS Coder: Actually, we're now operating on the theory that Google does in fact have some fairly advanced software.
    MS Boss: Advanced?!? You mean like technically advanced?
    MS Coder: Yeah, it looks that way.
    MS Boss: But we don't write our own technically advanced software - we wrap mediocre implementations of Unix technology in Macintosh user friendliness.
    MS Coder: I know - it's a bit of a problem.
    MS Boss: Pity we can't "partner" with them.
    MS Coder: Yeah, like Stac, Java, and that smartphone company.
  • by Steveftoth ( 78419 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @03:01PM (#6246009) Homepage
    they stop returning good results.

    That's the only reason that I use it. If MS can create a better search engine then Google, that finds better pages with less thinking (less words and tweaking of searches).

    The only problem I have with a search engine is when I go to it and have to try like 10 searches to get what I want, when I can goto Google and get it in 2.

    However, they had better start from scratch because all their previous search engines are really bad. The MSDN one being the worst. Maybe there is a way to have it return better results, but I haven't found it. I want it to be easier to narrow down my choices for APIs. I mean why is a MSCE API ranked higher then a Win32 api call on their results pages? Are there really more users of the WinCE api?
  • by Gregoyle ( 122532 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @03:02PM (#6246024)
    The only time I ever seem to use the MSN search is when I enter a URL into IE that it doesn't recognize (i.e. just about anything that doesn't either end in .com or start www).

    Then it invariably brings up an MSN search page with, surprise!, my url right at the top. Hell, using that method they could become the leaders in much the same way that the MSN homepage is one of the most visited one on the internet (because so many users don't bother to change the default one loaded every time you open a new browser window).
    • Turn it off... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dave21212 ( 256924 ) <dav@spamcop.net> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @03:22PM (#6246256) Homepage Journal

      or change the default [pcmag.com] to something other than Microsuck.

      It's actually quite simple:
      Open IE and click on View | Explorer Bar | Search. This opens a side panel for searches. If your side panel has the animated search character, select Change Preferences and then select Change Internet Search Behavior. A list of popular search engines appears, and you can select your favorite from the list.

      This new default setting applies only to searches done from the side panel. Entering keywords into the address bar will still trigger an MSN search. But if you leave the side panel open, you can search with your favorite engine without having to navigate to its site first. And you'll get search refinement suggestions in the sidebar along with your engine's results.

      If you'd rather search from the address bar, after selecting Change Internet Search Behavior select With Classic Internet Search. Then close IE and reopen it. The side panel will now contain a Customize selection on the menu bar. Click on that to open the Customize Search Settings dialog. Click on the Autosearch settings button and you'll see a second dialog that lets you change the default engine for searches from the address bar itself. Once you've chosen the engine you prefer, you can close the side panel. Searches entered in the address bar will now be sent to your preferred search engine.
  • by LordDartan ( 8373 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @03:03PM (#6246029)
    1. Acquire a large EMP device.
    2. Park large EMP device outside of Google headquarters.
    3. Detonate large EMP device.
    4. Profit!

    or something along those lines...I can't think of any other way they'll get ahead of google...

    (also notice, that the usual missing step 3 is included in this exercise for your viewing pleasure)
  • My god (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dpete4552 ( 310481 ) <slashdotNO@SPAMtuxcontact.com> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @03:04PM (#6246030) Homepage

    Microsoft is also developing search technology for the next version of its Windows operating system, code-named Longhorn, that could further its ambitions to take on Google. The search technology, borrowed from the company's SQL Server database, is expected to make it easier to find documents locally, on individual PCs, and across the Internet by linking to MSN's search services.

    Now they're trying to integrate their search engine into the OS? Well if they do MSN's search service will eventually rise to #1 regardless of how poor the quality of it is (It's working for IE). Because most people will just use Windows' search function, and a smaller portion will be aware of that as /the/ way to search the Internet.
  • by MisterFancypants ( 615129 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @03:05PM (#6246046)
    A quick google on this topic (search term: microsoft google slashdot) would have shown that this story is a repeat [slashdot.org].
  • MSN v. Google (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Shadow Wrought ( 586631 ) <shadow.wroughtNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @03:07PM (#6246060) Homepage Journal
    I did a web search on MSN for the word "Google" which turned up 184 hits. A search on Google for the word "Google" turned up 18,700,000. For curiosity I repeated the procedure using "MSN." MSN listed 11,357 hits, Google listed 18,500,000. Finally, I went ahead and tried "Slashdot" on both. MSN says it rang up 23! But when click to get to the next page it bumps it up to 864,467 hits. Google has 2,400,000. I just don't see MSN beating out Google unless they tie the search features directly into Explorer such that it takes actual effort on the users part to get to Google. Google greatest strength is that it not only works, but that it works well.

    The other thing to note is that MSN does not have an "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, but it does have an annoyingly fugly butterfly. I think the last two items will be the determining factor in the Search Wars.

  • by nvrrobx ( 71970 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @03:09PM (#6246093) Homepage
    ...then they will fail miserably.

    Half the time, I get JScript 'Out of Memory' errors or NO results from my searches...

    Long live Google! :)
  • by pmz ( 462998 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @03:11PM (#6246114) Homepage
    They try to control what you read and hear via NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, Newsweek, and Slate. They go after what does and doesn't exist on the WWW by setting up MSN, Expedia, Encarta, Carpoint, etc. They try to control personal communication through Hotmail. They control what software you use via Windows and their aquire-and-crush tactics. Controlling their customers' search results is simply the next logical thing to do.

    There is competition, right now, but that is no guarantee of competition in the future.

    In other markets and industries, people have clearly stated they don't want one company controlling their whole life. Why is it so damn difficult to do the same thing with computers and software???
  • Not Such a Bad Thing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jack Comics ( 631233 ) * <jack_comics@nOSpAm.postxs.org> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @03:12PM (#6246139) Homepage
    Honestly, this isn't such a bad thing. I use Google as my main search engine as do most geeks, but even after preaching the virtues of Google for years, my 24 year-old sister *insists* on using MSN Search, as she "finds it easier to access and use MSN Search" for some God forsaken reason. I guess because it's just easier to hit the "Search" button on IE's toolbar than it is to go to Favorites and click on Google.

    In any case, if my sister is an example of the standard non-geek masses, getting people to switch from using MSN to Google is difficult at best. If MSN can become more handy and more useful than it currently is, where's the harm in that? It might give Google some competition, which is always good, and increase the productivity of searching the Internet for "the unwashed masses."
  • bottom line (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LuxFX ( 220822 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @03:17PM (#6246205) Homepage Journal
    The first thing that attracted me to Google, even before witnessing the quality of the search algorithm, was the sheer bareness of their main page. I heartily applaud any website that keeps their main page under 15Kb. Even more important, I applaud any website that values the goals of the users so much that their main page is essentially a single function with no fluff. I also applaud any website that maintains a zero ad banner and popup rule.

    MS will never be able to compete with this. I would be very surprised if their main page will weigh in under 75Kb. It will be 90% fluff. And there will be ads all over it!

    Google wins.

  • never (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jafac ( 1449 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @04:00PM (#6246796) Homepage
    Google's corporate ethic is diametrically opposed to Microsofts.

    Therefore, Microsoft's corporate ethic will ALWAYS prevent a Microsoft Search Engine from producing reliable (ie. uncommercially biased) results.

    Google's refusal to bias it's rankings based on ad revenue is it's strenght, and the very reason it become so popular, it decimated all competition. No matter how good your technology may be - if you poison your results with commercial bias, there will be roughly ZERO demand for that search service. Even if Microsoft leverages their monopoly to try to cram it down people's throats, it will still fail. Nobody wants another spam factory disguised as a search engine.
  • my sources say (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tancred ( 3904 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @04:09PM (#6246889)
    Google has been expecting this for a long time and are prepared for it. MS is the only company that has been considered a serious threat, at least for the last year. They've got the name recognition, browser control and financial resources to do it. But do they have the right technical people? Are they committed to buying their way in no matter the cost? How about overcoming some very ingrained company traits and playing fair?

    Then there's the Google motto of "don't be evil" to contend with. Part of Google's success, I believe, is due to not being evil, and more than that, to being good. That covers things like clearly marking ads, keeping their home page simple (I wouldn't use it as my browser home page if it wasn't) and not accepting payments for rank improvement.

    There are a lot of very smart people at Google and my sources say the management is very shrewd and realistic. I'll bet they weather this storm. The drubbing of Netscape was, I think, an easier thing to do. Google already gives away their service for free, and they've got immense mindshare. Netscape had good name recognition at the time, but back then there was a flood of new users that didn't know anything about the net. That was also at a time when there wasn't so much anti-Microsoft sentiment out there (yes, even the general public has had a taste of it due to the court cases).

    Wow, I just about convinced myself to submit my resume!
  • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @04:58PM (#6247554)
    Mozilla is too and you don't see it running away with the race. MSN can still easily win. Just integrate it into the OS and make it the default search engine. Every one here is talking about how much better results Google gives and how the page is so much cleaner and works so much faster.
    It doesn't matter. The vast majority of people use defaults no matter what, a good portion of the rest will think "Hmm well MS is a super huge company so I'm sure what ever they make will be really good quality and be so much better than the competition". Don't count on them pick up on the search time as they'll probably attribute any difference to the internet being slow. Also sure as heck don't expect them to really notice the differing quality of search results, for one it's a completely subjective category and another you they likely won't even pay close enough attention to notice the difference. It's simple enough, integrate it into the OS, (something similar to Sherlock? been a while since I've used it), and make it the default anything on the windows box, home page too, really the average new user has no desire to change any kind of settings with their computer for the simple reason they don't really understand them. A search engine is obviously a good choice for a home page, make it your search engine and they're likely in your palm forever. Given the resources MS has and the actions they've been willing to take in the past combined with the courts unwillingness to stop them they would be fools if they didn't become #1.
  • The Obvious (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blunte ( 183182 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @04:58PM (#6247558)
    Most posters here are overlooking the obvious.

    As usual, this won't be a question of who as the superior technology or performance. It will be a question of which of the two (MS or Google) can force themselves upon the user first.

    Obviously MS can, since it controls the computer. Most users are not technically saavy enough to choose a search engine. Most don't even understand they can type into the address bar.

    When they go "onto the internet", they see MSN. MSN is the internet to them, the same way AOL has been the internet to a lot of unfortunate people over the last many years.

    Of course, working against MS are the various spyware packages that help the user find things (via popups) that might not have appeared on MSN's search... chuckle.

    To summarize, and no offense to non-saavy users (who won't read this anyway), but the sheep will be shepherded right thru MSN as usual.

  • by crashnbur ( 127738 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @05:14PM (#6247756)
    By OS's, I mean Operating Systems and Office Software/Suites. Microsoft may not be everyone's favorite, but it can not be denied that they are among the best, or at least they used to be.

    Like this week's PC World magazine (I'm pretty sure it was PC World) says, when your name becomes a verb, something has gone very right. Google [google.com] has had things going very right for a long time, and they're not trying to take over the entire world, which gives them cool points to boot!

    But seriously, as a result of this, all of their products are incredibly useful and tolerable. You won't find much anti-Google sentiment out there because the services they offer are simply useful:

    • Google News [google.com] is arguably the best news portal on the Internet. While the automatic headline generation may not beat Drudge to the punch, you can search for news items on any topic under the sun, and the service is only getting better.
    • Google Groups [google.com] is easily the best newsgroup search service on the Internet. If there is anything remotely close, I would love to know about it. Nothing more to say.
    • Google Directory [google.com] is Yahoo to the third power... If you want to search the web via topical hierarchy, this is the way to go.
    • Google Image Search [google.com] can find almost any image on the web. I don't search for images often, but I'd imagine this is pretty useful.
    • And even the Google Toolbar [google.com] is useful! I hate anything and everything that adds clutter to my desktop, browser, or anything else. I want nothing but the basics to allow for the maximum viewable area for useful work. The Google Toolbar, however, is a perfect fit in my browser window. Now that I have it, I'm certain that I can't get along without it!

    And, of course, the default Google search is customizable in particular ways. A search for link:slashdot.org [google.com] tells me that nearly 31,000 web sites link to Slashdot. A search for site:microsoft.com netscape [google.com] tells me that "netscape" is mentioned on at least 7,800 pages at Microsoft.com.

    Sorry, but I don't think Microsoft can catch up to that. And even if Microsoft could, how would such a successful web venture as Google be hurt by it? If nothing else, a little competition might *slightly* reduce Google's load, allowing for even greater expansion of services...

    I wrote far too much, but I'm in class, so I had a good excuse.

  • by mnmn ( 145599 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @05:15PM (#6247769) Homepage

    People use many types of access from various ISPS to login, using computers from a wide variety of manufacturers. Most of them use Microsoft operating systems which is a danger to the whole computing world. Microsofts software is increasingly unstable, bloated and generally low-quality. Their monopoly allows them to be lax with testing and quality control.

    The same principle applies to search engines. Almost everyone uses google or yahoo to seach for anything. These two sites have become the very interface to the Internet. This also allows them to alter information (place pro-republican sites above pro-democracy for 'election' search), snoop (with the FBI they might already be doing this), and in the long run suffering the same quality control fate as Microsoft. People build a view of the world around them by exploring and communicating with the other people. The Internet allows people to talk to other people far away and share political and moral opinions which on a larger scale helps tolerance and peace itself. These are not small issues; how many politicians can anyone think of who do NOT get their information from the Internet?

    More search engines will increase the diversity and break the stronghold of google. Google is a single point of failure for the Internet (the only other one is the DNS servers system) for most Internet users. Although I use it and love it, we are giving one company too much control, while knowing what the results of that are. I do doubt Microsoft can cut it as a competitor there since Ive never used MSN, and Ive seen their success with the XBox and other home-media entertainment ventures. Other skilled companies however can bring a fresh search interface to the online world.
  • by The Lynxpro ( 657990 ) <lynxpro@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @05:38PM (#6248009)
    And in other news, the MSN search system finds web pages reporting the factual truth that the Xbox is more successful than the Playstation2, OpenOffice prints documents in pig latin, and Linux originates from North Korea...
  • by coene ( 554338 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @07:49PM (#6248995)
    MSN.COM: 42KB HTML, 48KB Images.
    GOOGLE.COM: 5KB HTML, 8KB Images.

    MSN is too commercial. The search technology doesn't matter. The reason why Google is attractive is because it's:

    1) Simple
    2) Simple
    3) Simple
    4) Ad Free
    5) Accurate

    MSN (and Microsoft) has none of these. If they get #5, they are still down 4 in my book. They can't get 1-4 done, they've already buried themselves knee-deep in editorials, audio, video, and syndicated content.

    Moving away from their current setup will alienate their coveted "AOL types", and improving search technology will do nothing to gain the attention of "Google types".

    It's not about the results alone, it's the atmosphere and the confidence!

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.