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The Internet Microsoft

Google v. Microsoft 602

ph43thon writes "The New York Times business section has an article, The Coming Search Wars, about Google and Microsoft. It's fairly long and pretty interesting. Oddly, the writer or somebody out there, seems to think that Google v. Microsoft is analogous to Netscape v. Microsoft. I wasn't aware that you needed to download special software to run this Google search application. Somehow, I don't think Microsoft will find this fight to be as easy."
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Google v. Microsoft

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  • by corebreech ( 469871 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @04:36PM (#8152874) Journal
    Microsoft leveraged Windows to popularize IE. They'll try to do the same with MSN, leveraging it to promote their search engine. So there is that similiarity. And Netscape was free, and so is Google, and so that contest should go to whomever has the deepest pockets, but...

    Google is different than Netscape in that it is very high quality, something Microsoft isn't likely to match (I am continually amazed at how badly the search engine at sucks) and also because Google actually has a business model, i.e., they have customers, e.g., people willing to pay them money to do stuff.

    The way I see it, it's Google's to lose. They can still mess up in execution. They're expanding into other areas very quickly... perhaps too quickly. And they wield a tremendous amount of power in that search engine, so much so that I doubt that the feds haven't already requested "special access" to the query logs, and maybe one day, the power to alter result listings. (Yeah, you'd be laughing if I told you that the feds made Adobe put anti-counterfeiting code in Photoshop too I bet.)
  • Google staff themselves have already shown much progress with little or no serious competition. Their search engine has nothing to do with the old yahoo and altavista that were returning 50% advertisement and 49% uninteresting results.

    And sincerely, I doubt Microsoft will come up with anything more efficient that Google.

    Progress? That's Google's job. Competition? Microsoft is no competition in this area. Google wins by having a well-thought search system that beats anything else.

    Yes, I am biased. Google is "da shit" =)
  • Barriers to entry (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DOsinga ( 134115 ) <douwe.webfeedbac ... m ['mai' in gap]> on Sunday February 01, 2004 @04:38PM (#8152894) Homepage Journal
    Google sits in an excellent spot, but there are not many barriers to entry in the search engine arena; who uses altavista, excite or lycos anymore? As long as people start surfing from windows, I would not bet against Microsoft. Maybe an aliance between Nokia and Google could make a dent into Bills armour.
  • Similarities (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @04:39PM (#8152897) Journal
    The main reason it's similar is that MS sees a potential serious competitor within a market it wants to own. MS wants to ringfence the desktop and datacentre market (well, it's got to gain the datacentre market first, but it was on the way to doing that before Linux became popular).

    It's the argument that searching is about to become really important to them as a business sales technique - the new filesystem is a database, the integration of a web search engine makes your PC behave like a cache of the 'net. Etc. Owning the 'search' territory will help their marketing significantly, so they'll be serious about trying to get it.

    I wouldn't write them off either - just because we all use google now doesn't mean we won't switch at the drop of a hat if something "better" (better can be 'easier to use' rather than 'more appropriate results') comes along. Altavista, anyone ?

  • matching toolbars (Score:3, Interesting)

    by qBeaks ( 98833 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @04:39PM (#8152898) Journal
    I use the google toolbar. Last week I got an email from msnbeta to try out the msn toolbar HEY MSN toolbar and google toolbar look and do the same thing!.

    Sorry but I'll stick with google's toolbar.

    I think the internet needs google to remain independent from Microsoft, yahoo, Sun, etc...
  • No Switching Cost (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mrm677 ( 456727 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @04:39PM (#8152900)
    The fight is very easy for Microsoft. All they have to do is make a better search engine. There is no cost nor effort for me to switch search engines.
  • what if...? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by flaczki ( 748102 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @04:40PM (#8152907)
    what if microsoft will claim ovnership of IP of the search engine and will sue google for 3 B dollars?
  • by EvilGrin666 ( 457869 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @04:41PM (#8152924) Homepage
    Ironically, heres a link using google news search to the article so you can avoid the NYT signup.

    The Coming Search War []
  • by fire-eyes ( 522894 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @04:42PM (#8152941) Homepage
    I definately won't be using a biased search engine. I might go as far as to say censored:

    Number of results for the search "linux"

    at : "about 12,500,000."

    at : "about 429"

    That's way more than a little difference. That's a ratio of about 431034:1.

    I'm bored so let's try the same thing with "microsoft":

    google: "about 9,470,000"

    msn: "about 3856"

    This time it's a ratio of about 24559:1 . Draw your own conclusions. At the very least I think msn is just a shitty search.

    And yes I'm biased! I LOVE IT!
  • by gordgekko ( 574109 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @04:42PM (#8152943) Homepage
    The reaction of people like those found on Slashdot if Microsoft actually crafts a search engine that is demonstrably better than Google. Will people ignore that in favor of simple Microsoft bashing, or will they use it and acknowledge its superiority?

    Assuming, of course, that Microsoft builds a better search engine, of course.
  • by acheyer ( 139328 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @04:42PM (#8152944)

    The killer moment will be when they make the search experience for files on your desktop much better. I use Google today as my homepage, but the day when I get into the habit of searching for my files using Windows (today, it's not worth the trouble), it's trivial to extend that interface to search the web as well. Unfortunately, I think google does not have a strong, defensible position.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 01, 2004 @04:43PM (#8152950)
    Exactly. I'm sure Microsoft will find a clever way of funneling people to their search site using IE, on any 404 error for example.

    I think Google and Mozilla should team up before it's too late. Mozilla should have as the default homepage (I certainly do that anyway) and Google should put in a small link recomending that people use Mozilla.

    - Henrik []
  • Analogy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by iantri ( 687643 ) <iantri@ g m x .net> on Sunday February 01, 2004 @04:45PM (#8152974) Homepage
    Others have suggested that Google will fall like Netscape (the browser) did.

    I'm not so sure.

    Yes, Microsoft did use their desktop OS monopoly to get IE onto everyone's computer, but they did it at just the right time -- Netscape had gone way downhill, and people wanted a browser that worked half decently.

    Even if they integrate MSN Search, people will still use Google because it is lightyears better -- Google is even a verb now because of it.

  • Google should sue. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lux ( 49200 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @04:46PM (#8152995)

    The problem with the antitrust cases against MS so far have been that they've taken place after the illegal activity. I feel pretty strongly that Google should sue for a preliminary injunction against MS promoting any new search engine via any media embedded in the client (desktop icons, homepage, et cetera.) Such a judgement might come along in time for it to be useful, and it would leave them on much more even footing.

    It might be hard to get though because such a judgement would necessarily drive a wedge between MS's network services (MSN, messenger, passport, hotmail, et cetera) and their OS/application software. For example, it might mean that if MS wanted to embed their new search engine in MSN, they couldn't use it as IE's default homepage anymore. They'd have to pick between using MSN to promote the search engine and using IE to promote MSN.

    I think that would be a Good Thing, but a judge could see it as a strong argument against such an injunction.
  • The .NET Angle (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mia'cova ( 691309 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @04:47PM (#8153004)
    If you think about how internet "applications" are becoming embedded into programs and other web services, there's a whole new area Microsoft could be fighting for ground on.

    The free Google API isn't really as good as it could be. It works but I suspect if Microsoft incorporated their search engine into Visual Studio, or even just through the existing lists of available .net services, they'd have a solid start there. Microsoft does excel at documentation and ease of use for programmers. They know there if something isn't ready, their audience will know and avoid.

    Google doesn't use windows servers. That would certainly limit their ability to compete in the .net arena. I'm not sure what the current status is of the open .net compilers but Windows has the head start.
  • by jeffkjo1 ( 663413 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @04:48PM (#8153010) Homepage
    MSN search is set as the default, but most people come into occasional contact with a geek or watch the news.

    Somehow my mother, who is rather tech inept, found google.
  • Incremental Googling (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kindofblue ( 308225 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @04:53PM (#8153043)
    I use google most of the time. But I find that the innovations are coming from elsewhere. Frankly, Google is innovating with baby steps. Spellcheck is a nice feature, but it's not revolutionary or unique. Google labs is bunch of undergraduate level bullshit stuff. It's not the stuff of supposed army-of-PhDs breakthroughs.

    I like Google because it is fast, real fast and uncluttered, but the results are not better that Teoma or AllTheWeb. The link analysis that was unique to Google, 6 years ago, was the real quantum leap forward. But now everybody else has caught up. It appears to me that the differentiation is fast, bug-free quality of service and a clean UI.

    Short of another breakthrough from Google, I think Microsoft could still clobber Google. Google has got no stickiness.

  • Non issue for me (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PotatoHead ( 12771 ) <doug AT opengeek DOT org> on Sunday February 01, 2004 @04:57PM (#8153072) Homepage Journal
    because I am simply not going to use Microsoft search. --ever.

    At work, I do have to use their products, but everywhere else it is Open Software. I see a growing number of users downloading little widgets that make search a bit quicker, so there is some room for Microsoft to play. It is not hard to just ask for Google though, so I can't see these affecting the audience as much as, say shipping a free browser.

    Google has a very high mindshare right now. Most computer users, who know anything about what they are doing, know what Google is. Since a fair number of those users are actually running Microsoft stuff, intergration will grab some of them, but it will only stick if the quality rises above what it is now. (Something I seriously doubt will happen in the near term.) Factor in word of mouth combined with slow upgrade cycles and Microsoft does not have an easy task set in front of them.

    Microsoft can grab the noobs and clueless users who won't know or can't know the differences early on. Longer term, this is a problem because Google needs to continue to attract new users. I suppose the lack of new bodies will cause Google some longer term grief, but quality matters here, so I imagine they will still get their share. It is not that tough to try out different search services, unlike browsers.

    Given these things, I just can't see Microsoft taking over Internet search. If they spend enough, they will get an audience, then what? Ads? Subscriptions? Intergration? They are going to have to work hard to provide a lot of value in order to profit. The simple, quality message coming from Google is going to be hard to beat.

    I'll bet they are going to try and claim to have search be part of the 'Microsoft Office System' brand they are pimping right now. They have already done it with Placeware, why not search? This has a chance with the business crowd and might steal revenue from the Google Ad Words program. Maybe this is the area they are looking hard at. Making money from ads delivered to noobs and the casual/clueless is not going to make anyone rich, but getting the attention of businesses trying to run targeted marketing efforts online would. Microsoft might actually have a chance at this.

    In the end, still a non-issue. Still am not going to use their search, even if it happens to be a bit better. Will spend a lot of time letting others know why also.
  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @04:57PM (#8153079) Homepage Journal
    The quality issue is moot as well. IE was a piece of crap. Netscape was not so nearly a piece of crap. However, IE was everywhere. People designed for IE. Designed tools designed for IE. A lot of people had only used IE and thought that browsers were supposed to work that way. Therefore things appeared to work better on IE even though objectively IE was barely functional.

    The battle is exactly the same. Google currently does not return the high quality results as it once did. To use google in IE requires some effort. Many people have only used MS, and do not know that there are other ways to do things. MS search is enable automatically. In fact, last time I checked it was very difficult not to have everything go through MS search.

    Google will lose if MS is allowed to leverage it's platform. It would probably take very little to significantly impair the google tool bar in IE. MS can make it's search engine the only one that will work with the IE search button. MS can force all user connections, even fully qualified URLs, to pass through MS search engine.

    Google can only win if MS follows the spirit on the settlement with the US goverment. If MS follows on the letter of the law, google could be in serious trouble by the end of the year.

  • Re:No Switching Cost (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hanji ( 626246 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @04:59PM (#8153093)
    All they have to do is make a better search engine.
    And that's "very easy"?????

    Google isn't perfect by any means, and sure, you could do better, but it's damn good, and besting it sure as hell wouldn't be "very easy."
  • by RobertFisher ( 21116 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @05:01PM (#8153099) Homepage Journal
    I like the way you give both possible angles into the competition.

    However, there is one ace card in Microsoft's back pocket which you left out : Microsoft's Theory Group []. MS supports a very high-powered discrete math and computer science group, comparable to that of a top-notch university. It's not just deep pockets here : it's a long-term commitment to building up a substantial research group pursuing fundamental research on problems closely allied to various technical issues. Noteably, this includes web searches, which is really just a problem in graph theory.

    One needs to be extremely cautious in comparing the relative maturity of two technologies. The IE/NS analogy shows that MS can rapidly catch up to an existing technology, since they can afford to outspend and outlast any competitor. The only survival strategy is to evolve more rapidly than MS can follow; NS failed in that game by version 4, and it has only been relatively recently that other browsers (noteable Mozilla and Safari) have posed serious competition to the now-stagnant IE. Based on the existing high-powered theory already within MS, I am willing to bet that not only will MS have caught up to Google within 1-2 years, but they very well may also proceed to blow right past them.


  • by adun ( 127187 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @05:09PM (#8153154)
    First and foremost, Google is a RESEARCH COMPANY. They've hired a cadre of engineers, mathematicians, and I've even been told psychologists. Their own stated goal is nothing less than the complete mastery of the world's information.

    Conversely, Microsoft is interested in branding itself into the public consciousness, and collecting a tidy profit.

    To these ends, Microsoft will continue to buy out assets that it feels it can mold into a blunt weapon. Google comes off as a sort of diabolical genius, sneaking behind the scenes, signing unholy licensing pacts, and so forth.

    I know it's highly unfashionable to speak ill of Google, but you're a fan of tinfoil hats, I would think you had more to fear from Google than Microsoft.
  • by Frymaster ( 171343 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @05:19PM (#8153224) Homepage Journal
    So, without any evidence, you've proclaimed Google the winner for all eternity because you like them?

    i'm proclaiming google the winner because i am actively working against the microsoft search by participating in the boycott

    if you have a website and want to participate in the boycott it's darn simple.

    1. add the following lines to your robots.txt

      User-agent: MSNBOT
      Disallow: /

    2. go register yr site with the boycott page at []

    then, sit back in triumph that you have struck another blow to the jugular of the beast of redmond.

    no. really.

  • by ron_ivi ( 607351 ) <(sdotno) (at) (> on Sunday February 01, 2004 @05:25PM (#8153263)
    I think the author is close, but doesn't have the big picture. It's never been _just_ Netscape vs Microsoft, or Google vs Microsoft, or Macromedia vs. Microsoft or Sun vs Microsoft, or AOL vs Microsoft.

    A bigger picture you can have is when you look at the investors behind each of Google, AOL, Sun, Netscape, Macromedia, and many more. Kliener Perkins Caufield & Byers [] is one of the leading Venture Capital firms out here, and they're behind every one of those companies []! And they're not shy about talking about the "collective strength and experience" [] that they encourage among their portfolio.

    I think it's really the cultural difference that makes Silicon Valley strong. Companies like Microsoft grow by becoming having zillions of divisions that do some of everything. In the bay area, perhaps no single piece can compete with microsoft as a hole, but the combined plays of all these slighlty related companies really becomes significant. In Microsoft, each of those functions is a division that is shelterd by the parent organization. In Silicon Valley, each is a separate company that has to survive on its own merits. If one fails, and the market segment it focused on is still important, another may be funded to take its place.

  • by unoengborg ( 209251 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @05:37PM (#8153338) Homepage
    The claims that it was superior search technology that made google a succes. I think this was only one factor. To me the graphical design was very important. The google pages are not full of ads, in the beginning there were no ads at all. And now they are tasteful and dont compete for my attention when I look at my search results. The clean design gave an impression of integrety and a belief that search results was unbiased by economical interests.I think it will be hard for Microsoft to match.

    So if Microsoft was to beat google, how would they do it? They could use local tools on the OS that collects user information, e.g. scanning office documents and downloaded e-mail to get a user profile that could be fed into the search engine to get better quality of search results. However, such things could backfire seriously if users felt that their personal privacy was at stake.

  • by fallacy ( 302261 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @05:38PM (#8153344)
    I for one would definately love to see Microsoft build a decent search engine. One without bias [], without specific [] software [] requirements, without...(you get the idea).
    The only way that Google is going to continue to improve on an already outstanding engine is through competition - even from Microsoft! Additionally, a good, well-built product range, fair Microsoft company would be nicer to have than the current (read: "so far has been") incarnation. Yes! There, I've said it - I want Microsoft to succeed: but only as a respected IT company delivering uncompromised less buggy (let's not get too carried away here) software/products without man-handling of smaller companies, aggressive take-overs, lies/FUD and what not.

    However, there are times when you feel a particular company has crossed that psychological "screw-you" line far too often and so you don't hold your breath for much longer than a BogoMip when hearing about their "Next Big Thing TM".
    Mind you, if Microsoft does make it decent, my bet is that /.ters may actually use it, if it's good enough. I would like to think that we're a breed of people that have better moral values than to stoop to simply not using a product because Mr Gates et al have had their sticky paws over it. We won't bash Microsoft regardless of the quality of the product - we have SCO for that now ;-)

    "Assuming, of course, that Microsoft builds a better search engine, of course."
    As someone once said to me: "Rule Number One: Never Assume.
  • by corebreech ( 469871 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @05:43PM (#8153383) Journal
    For a second I had a shiver as I was reading your message, but I think I'm OK now...

    Yes, webmasters can prevent Microsoft from crawling their sites, but, hehe, what about web sites running IIS? Would Microsoft be so low as to "embellish" the robots.txt file hosted on IIS sites so as to include a line forbidding the GoogleBot?

    Man, let's all get down on our knees and kiss the ground the Apache developers walk on, huh?
  • Re:But.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AstroDrabb ( 534369 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @05:53PM (#8153458)
    How can you be so blind to the tactics of MS? They have been doing things one way since the beginning. If MSN search surpasses google, MS will revert to the old ways. A search of "Linux" on MSN search will, once again, return propoganda about MS Windows being better then Linux, how to switch from Linux and how MS Windows is cheaper, etc. I also see them using IE only "features" in the search page if MSN search became the #1 search engine and claim it is for a "better end user experience". Only a few months ago, a search for Linux would return crap from about how to switch from Linux as one of the top results. I seriously doubt that someone just searching on the term "Linux" wanted results about switching from Linux. So obviously, the people over at MSN search made a serach for "Linux" return those results. They will do it again if given the chance. MS will not only do this against Linux, but against any product that may cause them some competition. MS is all about extending their monopoly.
  • by Winkhorst ( 743546 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @06:27PM (#8153817)
    Do you really think Microsoft is above hijacking their own browser and sending you to when you try to go to Google?
  • Actually, it's not the estimation that's incorrect. The first page tells you which sites (as a collection of pages) might be relevant to your query. Later pages will give you individual pages instead after you've decided you're not looking for a topic-based search but rather a particular page. The MSN search style allows you to pick subject area sites based on your query whereas Google gives you page after page of results. I think the former is better for generic searches (since the average query length is still under two words, many people are searching for just one word) whereas the latter is better for specific information. I prefer Teoma's method (among others) of refining search results by subject area rather than weeding through whole sites and, even worse, whole pages, when the query is really loose. That being said, I use Google 99% of the time.
  • by EdMack ( 626543 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @07:21PM (#8154216) Homepage
    Microsofts next launch is absolutely focused on "search". The entire filesystem metaphor in Longhorn revolves around data and association. The 'Stuff like this' (?) demo is a bit like Dashboard, it brings up relevant info from all your personal data, and the internet.

    When users are trying to find something like 'funny billy goatse photo' their hard drive and Microsoft's search engine will be used together. Unknowingly, MSN search will be a part of everyday life.

    Microsofts next monopoly abuse is pretty clear already, their technology demos show it too. They will integrate and before you can say 'Anti-trust investigation' the world at large will be using MSN search for _everything_ - information is power too.

    Keep close tabs on Microsoft's actions, unfortunately when they are punished by EU/USA its too late.
  • by stor ( 146442 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @07:32PM (#8154287)
    a. Go to
    b. Type in the keywork "linux"
    c. Click "Search"
    d. Examine the top 2 results:

    1. Buy Linux software at the software store.

    2. Find great deals on Linux software and accessories. Also find millions of other items in over 18,000 categories.

    It was even funnier a few months ago: one of the top search results was some "migrating from Linux to Windows" article.

    Microsoft's search engine will undoubtedly be geared towards selling their products and the products of businesses that have a strategic alliance with Microsoft. Doesn't sound like a comprtehensive tool to me.

  • For most sites, boycotting MSN now would be like telling a deaf blind person that they can't listen to your music or watch your movies.

    Google visits my site once or twice a week. Altavista and Inkomi both make regular monthly visits. MSN has paid someone them for that data, because while I have no record of their site's visit, I can find my site on theirs if I look really specifically.

    As for searches, I've had 43 visits thank to google for my piddly non-commercial homepage. Most of my visitors have actually come from Slashdot (unfortunately, my client is not altogether accurate knowing that everything ending in "" is actually the same site, so I don't have an accurate count).

    I believe this is a microcosm of how it is for most sites with respect to google and Microsoft: they do not have an effective search engine.
  • by melted ( 227442 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @07:49PM (#8154387) Homepage
    ...worse than Google's. Now imagine that technology is not worse, and they have a ridiculously large server farm sitting on a ridiculously fat pipe that indexes the internet twice as fast as google using better algorithms. "Can't happen", you say? "Why?" I'll ask. Maybe not in the first version, but I have no doubt MS can beat the crap out of Google with technology alone. Heck, I know at least two other search engines that aren't worse than Google, and they don't even have Google's resources, whereas MS has 10x the resources, monetary, IP and other.
  • by Jarlsberg ( 643324 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @08:31PM (#8154619) Journal
    First you say:
    Microsofts next launch is absolutely focused on "search". The entire filesystem metaphor in Longhorn revolves around data and association. The 'Stuff like this' (?) demo is a bit like Dashboard, it brings up relevant info from all your personal data, and the internet. When users are trying to find something like 'funny billy goatse photo' their hard drive and Microsoft's search engine will be used together. Unknowingly, MSN search will be a part of everyday life.
    So far, great for Windows users.

    But then you say:

    Microsofts next monopoly abuse is pretty clear already, their technology demos show it too. They will integrate and before you can say 'Anti-trust investigation' the world at large will be using MSN search for _everything_ - information is power too.

    So - Improving file search in Windows and integrating web search is a bad thing? Making Windows better is a bad thing? You'd have to be a *nix zealot to seriously mean such a thing.

    Microsoft will not stop Google or any other search engine in their next iteration of Windows/IE. Microsoft is going to make it a whole lot easier to use MSN Search, but hey, it's their OS. Personally, I applaud the effort. Maybe Google et all will improve because of Microsofts efforts.

  • Simple! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CTib ( 4626 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @08:34PM (#8154637)
    Simple strategy for MS:
    1) kill all browsers on the most popular computing platform. Result, IE sole available browser (oh, wait, they already did this).
    2) make IE automatically point google.* URL requests to msn-search.


    Darn, I just spelled out the obvious. Now the evil doesn't even have the excuse of stupidity :-( I hope the above never happens.
  • by slaad ( 589282 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @08:48PM (#8154729)
    Oddly, the writer or somebody out there, seems to think that Google v. Microsoft is analogous to Netscape v. Microsoft. I wasn't aware that you needed to download special software to run this Google search application. Somehow, I don't think Microsoft will find this fight to be as easy.

    This is just like Netscape vs. IE. Just wait until longhorn comes out. MS's search engine will be integrated into windows (where it will undoubtedly function as not only a search engine but it will handle all memory access as well, so it can't be removed). It will have the entire web cached and right there waiting for you. It will then use your spare bandwidth to update itself continuously. Who will want to go all the way to to do a search when the entire web is available right on your own computer? Google is doomed for sure.
  • by Woody77 ( 118089 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @09:06PM (#8154845)
    Put one on the IE menu, and lastly, redirect all entires in the URL bar to MSN search if it isn't a valid URL.

    already done. Actually, if you have the address bar enabled in the explorer windows (as I do, since I like being able to switch directories by typing in a new path instead of clicking with the mouse for a while), you discover that there's also an option to "search from the address bar" that needs to be shut off.

    Evil, evil, evil. I want 404s or 'not found' or 'invalid path', not MSN Search (or worse one of the 8 million XyzSearch websites that are out there squatting on misspelled domain names...)
  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @09:10PM (#8154861) Journal
    I have just one problem with the MS will win theory. It seems to rely on the idea that MS can sell anything it wants even if it is an inferior product. Well lets take a look at that shall we?

    Game consoles? Nope. Microsoft Phone? Nope. Interactive TV? Nope. MSN? Nope.

    MS is not exactly scoring a 100% with the products it releases. The OS and office suit do well. So do their PDA's although this is because everyone else is really screwing up.

    Lets not forget that netscape lost because it couldn't keep up. Linux users will remember being lumbered with Netscape 4.2. Windows users just switched to IE.

    So does google loose? Maybe if they screw up but I don't think the bundling thing is going to help MS all that much. MSN is bundled and has so far totally failed to take over the market or turn a profit.

    Of course one tiny little detail is that MS doesn't need to make a profit. I cleans out its consumers so much on the OS and office suit it can afford to have several money drains going on at once. MS can afford to screw up countless times. I doubt google has that luxury.

  • by neuroinf ( 584577 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @09:46PM (#8155073) Homepage
    Google an advocate of open source? I don't think so. Can't see any google source anywhere... The approach here is that at a certain point the sale value of code approaches zero. OS code sale price? Zero. Search code price? Non-zero. If MS can add value they will survive, if not then they won't.
  • by Oliver Defacszio ( 550941 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @09:52PM (#8155110)
    Who, outside of the Slashdot group, is going to follow a stupid boycott like this? Why would they? "I would prefer having less traffic in order to screw Microsoft"? Please. Outside of this place, Microsoft is just another company.

    Also, and you can call this a hunch, I doubt that Microsoft is going to lose sleep over the lack of "M$ droolz, Linux roolz" type sites that will participate. As a user of search engines, I certainly wouldn't mind.

  • by JoelClark ( 150479 ) on Monday February 02, 2004 @01:38AM (#8156214) Homepage
    People use IE not because it's a better browser, but because that's what comes up when they click on the "Browse the Web" desktop icon.

    Sry, but in the 4.0 days, IE beat the hell out of Netscape. Easily. Cry foul if you must, but do it knowing that IE bested Netscape technically, as well as with (perhaps unfair) convenience. I've been in the web-based application business for quite a while and only now is Mozilla looking to be worthy of competing. Of course, nothing beats Konqeror for integration and usefulness (KParts > all), but it's HTML rendering skills need some work. They'll get there. But that's another post...

    The search engine war, if there is to be one, will be interesting to view but the outcome may not please the anti-MS camp. Hmmmm. One thing I just thought of: on my Gnome box I'm looking at a Mozilla screen, specifically the "Search" button that I had to reconfigure to point to Google. Chore? Yes. Same thing that MS will do? Likely. But I guess what's good for one...


  • by KeithSogge ( 678216 ) on Monday February 02, 2004 @02:52AM (#8156513)
    The day I want to find something on Google's website by going to and typing in
    Searchtextfoo :site
    is the day Microsoft won.

    I'm sure all of us who've ever had to search Microsoft's site have found that Google does a better job than Microsoft on their own site.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 02, 2004 @06:10AM (#8156983)
    It would be valid that competition in this area would be a great thing for the consumer. However Microsoft are not going to make a competition that will benefit the end user. As a developer at least a few times a week I need to look up an article about some code method or api call on the internet to give me a reference. Now microsoft almost always has the article that I want. So you would think it best to go to MSDN and have a search on their own site which is indexing their own pages and gives you lots of great advanced options to filter on specific programming languages and areas of Microsoft's web sites.

    NO. Instead after spending quiet some time setting all the options you want and searching your results return a fair bit of marketing, usually a pile of stuff from the japanese site and some totally unrelated links about why you should upgrade to the latest system / software.

    What do I do now. Go to google, and almost everytime find the relevant microsoft page within the first 20 results on google.

    Google indexes Microsoft's pages better than Microsoft does so how can one even begin to believe that Microsoft can index anyone elses site.

    Oh and how many of you out there have you homepage set as I know I do it on every computer I have as it means the load time is quick and I'm at the web page I use by far the most often.

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian