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Microsoft The Almighty Buck The Internet

Ballmer On Microsoft's Search Goofs 487

An anonymous reader writes "AP reports on CEO Steve Ballmer's regret over Microsoft's failure to get into the search market early on. Best quote? 'I want to make sure (a user) can't get through ... an online experience without hitting a Microsoft ad.' Nice to see they're still user-oriented."
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Ballmer On Microsoft's Search Goofs

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  • Humility? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:14PM (#8673171) Homepage Journal
    "I want to make sure (a user) can't get through ... an online experience without hitting a Microsoft ad," he said.

    So, does not the recent 600 some odd millions dollar fine by the EU suggest anything to these guys? The USDOJ let them off the hook, but the rest of the world is proving not to be as forgiving. Perhaps they should be a little more humble?...........Nah.

    • Rectal Exam (Score:5, Funny)

      by Ron Harwood ( 136613 ) <harwoodr@@@linux...ca> on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:24PM (#8673352) Homepage Journal
      I want to make sure Steve Balmer can't get through a doctor's visit/border crossing/stop light without getting a full rectal exam.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:27PM (#8673404)
      REDMOND, Wash. - When Microsoft Corp. entered the Internet browser war in the 1990s, Netscape Navigator was the early leader and Microsoft's Internet Explorer the late-blooming upstart.

      Now, Microsoft is gearing up for a similar brutal and pointless battle in search technology.

      Chief executive Steve Ballmer conceded Thursday that one big misstep by Microsoft over the past few years is that the company did not put resources toward the 'embrace and extend' - Microsoft's term for wholesale copying and stealing - of search technology.

      "That's probably the thing I feel worst about over the last few years -- not destroying a small competitor in a wave of litigation and threats," Ballmer said at a conference for online advertisers held at Microsoft's Redmond campus, as sunlight bounced off his fat bald head.

      Instead, he said, the company had kind of assumed that it would be fun to wait for a while to see what ideas others came up with, before stealing them. Joking that the pervasive software giant is often stereotyped as "a bunch of blood-sucking vampires" he said: "This is a case where we didn't destroy it all -- and I wish we had."

      But Microsoft is now turning its considerable might toward catching up. It's a move that puts Microsoft head to head with Google, the world's most popular Web surfing vehicle, and Yahoo, the Internet's most popular destination, in what many see as the next depressing confirmation that there is nothing that can be achieved that Microsoft won't wreck with some awful code, a stack of ripped-off eyecandy and several billion dollars worth of marketing.

      "I think you'll see some blood on the wheel in this area," Ballmer said.

      Ballmer mentioned the European Union (news - web sites)'s ruling against Microsoft only in passing, when asked about rumors the company may be making some big acquisitions. He said he hadn't heard that; he'd been too busy paying attention to rumors coming out of Europe, as he made bunny ears with his fingers.

      The European Commission (news - web sites) slapped Microsoft with a $613 million fine Wednesday for abusively wielding its near monopoly in desktop operating systems and ordered sanctions that go well beyond the company's antitrust settlement with the United States. The company has vowed to raise an army of the undead, to destroy the continent in a reign of fire, to sow its fields with salt and leave no stone atop another, pending an appeal by its lawyers.
      • Please read a comment before moderating it. A subject line that says "Article Text" doesn't necessarily mean that it actually is the article's text. This particular example is really a work of fiction loosely modeled on the article. Rank it as "funny" if you think it's deserves a positive rating, but it's definitely not "informative".

        Here's the actual article's text:

        Microsoft Concedes Misstep in Search

        By ALLISON LINN, AP Business Writer

        REDMOND, Wash. - When Microsoft Corp. entered the Internet br

        • Are you sure the parent isn't just the original copy before the editor got his hands on it? :)

          I worked at a paper as a co-op student and it was sick how they would butcher even a one paragraph article with inaccurate info for the sake of "making it interesting".
        • by geschild ( 43455 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @07:14AM (#8678243) Homepage

          Please get off of your high horse? I sometimes moderate something as interesting or another positive mod other than funny intentionally even if the comment is only funny. This is because /. chose to not count funny mods towards Karma but people will lose points for being modded down by the humor impaired.

          In this way we prevent people from burning karma for being funny.

          All you seem to be doing, though, is karma-whoring and not adding anything new to the discussion at hand.

    • Re:Humility? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by spellraiser ( 764337 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:34PM (#8673485) Journal

      Speaking of humility:

      But Microsoft is now turning its considerable might toward catching up. It's a move that puts Microsoft head to head with Google, the world's most popular Web surfing vehicle, and Yahoo, the Internet's most popular destination ...

      Interesting choice of words... probably has nothing to do with where this story is posted, huh?

    • Yeah no kidding (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Moonpie Madness ( 764217 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:37PM (#8673528)
      thanks a lot bill for making the free market look so bad. Sheesh. To think of all the cool shit Bill Gates could do with 50 billion dollars. He could make robot servants or racing spaceships he could waste it all on scientific cool progress stuff. he could have changed the world and earned immortality. think about it, what would you do if you had that kind of potential? Would you proceed to make a grey and white arial fonted boring ass self advertising agency that tweaked powerpoint every couple years? hell no, hell no. I hope somebody in here is the next big programming marketing mogul, wouldnt surprise me. When you get done with that innovation and you are super rich... Do some some cool stuff with the money. I mean, by all means keep 10 mill in your sock drawer, but use the billions on robots. Space robots. Bill Gates could fund his own Nasa, and I wonder if he could have made a little money too
      • Re:Yeah no kidding (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        While MS may be sitting on its cash reserve, Bill Gates is indeed doing a lot to better this world with his wealth. Please take a second look at his charitable works, especially his 3rd world health initiatives and his minority scholarship awards.
        • I sometimes wonder if a person couldn't do more good by just not accumulating so much to begin with. Leave more in the pool rather than try to empty the pool and then attempt to look magnanimous by donating to charity.

          Still, it's nice that he gives back and it's one thing I can respect about Bill Gates.

      • Re:Yeah no kidding (Score:3, Insightful)

        by darkain ( 749283 )
        the problem with this is the fact all those billions are in stocks. if he where to pull out even say 10% of his stocks, everyone would get scared, and pull out too, vastly dropping the costs of his stocks. and as for investing in new technologies with that money... take a look at the house he lives in now. take a look at all the various technologies that he had specifically invested into just so his house would be the way it is today. gates doesnt stay in the spotlight like everyone from hollywood, but
      • Re:Yeah no kidding (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Elwood P Dowd ( 16933 ) <judgmentalist@gmail.com> on Thursday March 25, 2004 @07:59PM (#8674323) Journal
        Hey, jackass.

        Bill Gates is trying to do much better things than that with his 50 billion dollars.

        Off the top of my head, he's trying to cure AIDS.

        While I may hate some of his professional choices, if his charitable endeavors go even somewhat according to plan, I forgive him all his transgressions.
    • Re:Humility? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Blitter ( 15795 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @07:00PM (#8673787)
      So, does not the recent 600 some odd millions dollar fine by the EU suggest anything to these guys?

      $600 million is about 1% of their cash reserve, from what I understand. So, no, it wouldn't suggest anything to me at all if I was them. Just part of the cost of doing business, trivially affordable.

  • by sik0fewl ( 561285 ) <{xxdigitalhellxx} {at} {hotmail.com}> on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:14PM (#8673173) Homepage

    I want to make sure (a user) can't get through ... an online experience without hitting a Microsoft ad

    Sounds like my kind of search engine!

  • from (Score:5, Funny)

    by AnonymousCowheart ( 646429 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:14PM (#8673177) Homepage
    from ballmer on microsoft's goofs, to balmer acting like a goof [ntk.net]
  • Hah! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Jonny Ringo ( 444580 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:14PM (#8673179)
    I can counter that by saying, "I will make sure I never have an online experience again!"

    Suckers.
  • Hmmmm, I wonder is there's some kind of provision around those pesky spam legislation to gag steve balmer... or better yet, defenestrate him.

    Welcome(tm) to the MSinternet as envisioned by Steve Balmer. Don't forget to be a good person and buy some MS stuff!

  • They will fail. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by James A. M. Joyce ( 764379 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:15PM (#8673188) Journal
    'I want to make sure (a user) can't get through ... an online experience without hitting a Microsoft ad.'

    And that is exactly why MSN Search will never be bigger than Google.

    BTW, timothy, just so you know - when inserting a clarifying phrase into a quote, one encloses it in square brackets and not normal brackets.
    • Re:They will fail. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rjelks ( 635588 )
      What's to keep Microsoft from just buying google? They have plenty of money to buy it thousands of times over. I hope that msn search does just fine so they'll leave my google alone.

      -
      • Re:They will fail. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sheetrock ( 152993 )
        They can innovate a new system for less money than Google would cost them (although the brand might be worth it). Additionally, trying to buy out the most popular search engine could invite more scrutiny from the people who want them broken up than they would receive by creating their own.
      • Re:They will fail. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Nutcase ( 86887 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:50PM (#8673688) Homepage Journal
        Google runs on thousands of stripped down custom designed boxes running a custom linux os.

        If microsoft bought them, they would have to essentially rebuild them from scratch, as the hardware couldnt run windows effectively, and the odds are good that windows couldnt handle the stress the way googles does. i.e. just die and hand it off, and sit there rotting.

        In theory microsoft could leave it alone, but that doesnt work. Remember when they tried to convert hotmail to windows servers from bsd, and kepts screwing it up? I think they eventually managed that, but it was a mess. Now imagine converting google... it would be a clusterf**k.

        Plus at that point it would just be cheaper to build their own.
      • Re:They will fail. (Score:5, Informative)

        by cnkeller ( 181482 ) <cnkeller&gmail,com> on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:52PM (#8673698) Homepage
        What's to keep Microsoft from just buying google?

        They already went down that path [nytimes.com]. The result (or lack thereof) was what prompted MS to dump all the money into their own search technology in the first place. Much like Ford did to Ferrari in the 60's, MS is hoping to out spend Google (which they'll probably succeed in doing).

    • Re:They will fail. (Score:4, Informative)

      by spood ( 256582 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:49PM (#8673680) Homepage Journal
      'I want to make sure (a user) can't get through ... an online experience without hitting a Microsoft ad.'

      Actually, though Timothy did not correct the submission of the anonymous reader, the quote appears exactly that way at the end of the article, including parentheses and the ellipsis. I want to know what was elided in that sentence. What if the original quote had been:

      'I want to make sure (a user) can't get through a search engine and still not find what he is looking for. You have services like Google which provide AdWords on every search, but not necessarily guaranteeing the content users are looking for. I think users would enjoy using a search function as a part of an online experience without hitting a Microsoft ad.'

      But here I am questioning journalistic integrity on slashdot. I must be new here.
    • Re:They will fail. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by thx2001r ( 635969 )

      BTW, timothy, just so you know - when inserting a clarifying phrase into a quote, one encloses it in square brackets and not normal brackets.

      Actually, if you'd read the article [yahoo.com], that is how the quote appears in the original article text. So, this isn't Timothy's fault, but the author of the article's (ALLISON LINN, AP Business Writer).

      While we're talking about that wonderfully sensationalist quote, it'd be interesting if journalists would stick to unaltered quotes (this one has been cut to appear par

  • Yowza! (Score:5, Informative)

    by numbski ( 515011 ) * <numbski AT hksilver DOT net> on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:16PM (#8673197) Homepage Journal
    'I want to make sure (a user) can't get through ... an online experience without hitting a Microsoft ad.'

    I figured that the submitter hacked part of that quote out of the middle, only to find out the original article had it posted that way too!

    And the pictures! I usually don't think of Steve Ballmer as evil (just the company he works for), but those pictures make him almost look menacing and demonic.

    "Mwa ha ha ha...all your base are belong to us! Now give me your money, and here's your yearly upgrade of office. When's your first born due?"
  • by erick99 ( 743982 ) * <homerun@gmail.com> on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:16PM (#8673200)
    Microsoft probably can come up with the worlds greatest search engine. Then, they will do what they always do after they decimate and then dominate a market - ignore it. Whatever the state-of-art is for search engines will be frozen in time once it belongs to Microsoft. You can pay them now or pay them later....

    Happy Trails!

    Erick

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Please explain how MS is going to undercut Google (the people that provide free searching with minimally intrusive ads)? Bundling a search engine with the OS? I don't see how that would work either.
    • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:38PM (#8673537) Homepage
      They'll probably release a MSN toolbar that is a feature-for-feature copy of the Googlebar, and automatically install it on the next Windows Update. Maybe on "accident" is uninstalls the original Google toolbar (Cough*netscape*Cough). Make all URL line searches and mistypes go to MSN, and remove the ability to choose your default search engine.

      They don't have to make the "world's greatest," they just have to make something that is competitively passable, and is deeply hooked into their existing product line. The "Internet Search" in the file search bar is already inexorably linked to MSN...

    • by metlin ( 258108 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:44PM (#8673613) Journal
      I can see where you are coming from, but the thing is that the Search Engine market is not like other markets.

      MS slacked off when it comes to browsers, and Mozilla is surely catching up.

      Search is a technology that has universal benefits - and it is a technology where there can be only one, not more. Therefore, *if* Microsoft came to the top and slacked off, they will not stay there for long.

      Google is not like other search engines from earlier times - they are good at searching, and thats their primary focus - they are not trying to go the portal way that spelt the deathknell for several engines of the days bygone.

      So, even if MSFT did come to the top, searching is an area where they will have to stay on top - or pay the price for it.

      To be honest - as much as I like Google, may the best engine win :-)
  • by Bishop, Martin ( 695163 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:16PM (#8673202)
    Billy Mac, of Mac trucks, had this to say:

    "I want to make sure (Steve Ballmer) can't get through ... a busy highway without getting hit by a Mac truck."
  • by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) <teamhasnoi AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:16PM (#8673207) Homepage Journal
    I can pretty much guarantee that I'll see one on Slashdot every other story.
  • The poster is taking that quote a little bit out of context. All Ballmer is really saying is that they are spending a lot of money on advertising. Assuming that you will see ads anyway, there is nothing wrong with him saying "I want to make sure (a user) can't get through ... an online experience without hitting a Microsoft ad." If you were to substitute Linux for Microsoft in that quote, would anybody here really object (unless they object to all advertising on principle)?
    • If they did, we'd be rather surprised. Linux isn't a company. They have nothing to tell their users (other than `don't send your "how do i use gimp" messages to the LKML` :), they don't need advertising. Linus doesn't make money for every install. Nobody on "Linux" cares.

      Now the Linux companies like IBM, Red Hat, SuSE, etc. may want you to see ads. But they aren't in the position to enforce this because they do not stuff things down their users' throats. Sure, there's the SuSE mascot all over SuSE's
  • by kiwioddBall ( 646813 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:17PM (#8673224) Homepage
    I want to make sure (a user) can't get through ... an online experience without hitting a Microsoft ad.

    Well, don't think this behaviour is exclusive to Microsoft. Every CEO and Marketing exec is saying exactly the same thing, and have been for years. Everyone wants their ad where the user is.
    • I'm just really interested to see if society ever reaches an advertising saturation point, where people become immune to ads because they see so damn many of them. Or when the ads become so invasive that people are turned off and offended by them. Who am I kidding, there are people who still buy penis enlargement pills from spammers! Advertising has a long future ahead.
  • by moehoward ( 668736 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:17PM (#8673225)
    Can someone say "unhealthy obsession"?

    Fanaticism? Jealousy? Envy? Mod me to -1 and take my pain away.
  • Why stop there with a user seeing an ad, why dont microsoft take vertical control of the market, and make it so that the computer is microsoft, the electricity is microsoft, and while at it add binary code [theonion.com] too
  • Quoth the article:

    At the conference, Microsoft also unveiled a study on the effectiveness of online advertising. The company is using the study as the basis for an argument that companies spending about 1 percent of their advertising budget online should consider increasing that to 4 percent or 5 percent because people are spending more time online.

    Great. More ads. Is it just me, or is the amount of spam, and popup advertising already bad enough? And Microsoft wants more of this? Give me a break. Also,

  • by geekster ( 87252 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:19PM (#8673261) Homepage
    don't you think Ballmer [yimg.com] kinda looks like an evil Dr. Phil [symposion.se]?
  • by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) * on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:19PM (#8673269) Journal
    Apart from the wheely mouse (which I think HP invented), I can't think of *any* technologies that Microsoft got into early on. They missed TCP/IP, networking in general, the net (and the browser), etc.

    Of their successes, with the honorable exception of their OS (copied from DR and then Apple) and their office suites (which they copied from, was it Lotus?), it's all been dubious business practices... Very successful company though they are, they are in no way innovative. Innovative isn't necessary for a monopolist position, and in fact is a bad business strategy - you might waste loads of cash, and you've got nothing to lose by preserving the status quo...

    So it's just pure 100% Balmer, again...

    Simon
    • by gclef ( 96311 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:35PM (#8673502)
      Honestly, leading in innovation is not the way to win in business. You want to be *second* to market (maybe even third or fourth) with any new idea, but not first. Why? Because anyone who actually *leads* will always make mistakes, since they're trying something no one has done before. Someone following behind can take the idea, fix a few things people complain about, and make it their own. It's cheaper to develop, cheaper to market, and cheaper to train, since the users already know what you're trying to make, and will be happy to see you making something "better" than your competitors.

      I hate to sound cynical, but in any market where someone follows this strategy, the real innovators will either patent everything, or get screwed.
      • Your insightful comment made me realize why Everquest won out over the pioneer in the "really big graphical mud" genre, Ultima Online. UO made a lot of basic mistakes that the late comer could capitalize on, such as forgetting to make their game like crack-cocaine.
    • I can't think of *any* technologies that Microsoft got into early on.

      I believe that they are the leading innovators in the field of talking paperclip technology.
    • by leomekenkamp ( 566309 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:52PM (#8673701)
      (...) their OS (copied from DR and then Apple) (...)

      Little correction: MS-DOS, to which you are referring I assume, was not copied from Digital Research; it was bought from a guy named Tim Paterson [about.com]. It used to be called QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) before MS bought it; they changed a few things, renamed it and 'sold it' to IBM.
    • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) * on Thursday March 25, 2004 @07:36PM (#8674127) Homepage Journal
      Apart from the wheely mouse (which I think HP invented), I can't think of *any* technologies that Microsoft got into early on.
      They were a groundbreaking leader in the field of treating web content as locally executable code with full privs and no sandbox: ActiveX controls.

      AFAIK, they were groundbreaking leaders in bringing certain conveniences to email clients, such as double-clicking on an attachment, causing it to execute.

      Prior to Microsoft, nobody had ever thought to do such [euphemisms coming up] .. inspired and visionary things. Indeed, most of their competitors still haven't dared to even try matching these features.

      Another one: They got the brilliant idea of taking an Apple menu, moving it to the bottom the screen so that it's slightly slower to get to, and then moving it up by one or two pixels, so that if you slam your mouse pointer against the edge and then click, you will still manage to miss the menu, so you have to carefully adjust upwards a little, and then click, if you want to hit the hotspot. That tiny little offset of just a few pixels, is an innovation where Microsoft not only led for years, but most of their competition still hasn't matched them.

  • Uh oh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by fussili ( 720463 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:19PM (#8673270)
    'I want to make sure (a user) can't get through ... an online experience without hitting a Microsoft ad.'

    That's gotta be a mood killer for people surfing pr0n.
  • Tactic of choice? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by baudilus ( 665036 )
    This is no different than Microsoft's usual business tactics; enter a market where there are strong competitors, and use your ubiquity to promote your own agenda. I won't be surprised if in the new version of windows the 'CTRL + ENTER' trick to enter the www. and .com in the address bar suddenly brings up and MSN search isntead of what you were looking for. [Incredifind anyone?] The only thing is I doubt they will be able to get really good footing with the Google-naut in the fray. Unless of course they los
  • by cyber_rigger ( 527103 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:21PM (#8673285) Homepage Journal
    If you click Microsoft's ads does Microsoft have to pay more?
  • "I want to make sure (a user) can't get through ... an online experience without hitting a Microsoft ad."


    In a world without walls and fences (internet), we don't need Windows and Gates.

    Diego
  • 'I want to make sure (a user) can't get through ... an online experience without hitting a Microsoft ad.'

    thanks to proxomitron, i am beyond your evil clutches ...

  • by Muddie ( 72996 ) <larry@@@runswithscissors...com> on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:21PM (#8673297) Homepage
    This will solve more problems than one. Really. If Microsoft makes everyone's online experience the digital equivalent of being pestered by sales calls 24 times a day, on the hour, every hour, then maybe people like myself will turn off the computer, get up, go outside, and get some more exercise, loose weight, defeat the obesity scare, live longer and have a social life! ...or, realistically, develop better ad-blocking software.

    Who am I kidding.

    Though it would be funny to see what ads would pop up when searching for "Windows XP 2004 Server Keygen"
  • MSN Newsbot (Score:2, Informative)

    by glebd ( 586769 )
    If MSN Newsbot [msn.com] is any indication of their upcoming competition with Google and their excellent news page [google.com], I wouldn't worry just yet. I have tried using MSN Newsbot but abandoned it because of lack of content and mismatches between the article text and pictures, some of them ridiculous. They cannot even copy the concept with a decent level of quality. Note that both news services are currently in beta.
  • In my opinion, Microsoft has historically done poorly in anticipating and addressing new trends in computing especially with regards to the information superhighway. They were slow to make their system interoperate with the Internet, slow to recognize the value of providing the Internet as a service to home users, and slow to embrace the Internet as a medium for exchanging content such as movies and music.

    However, they also absolutely cleaned up once they caught on. MSN, in conjunction with their WebTV

    • by Renegade Lisp ( 315687 ) * on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:38PM (#8673538)
      Internet Explorer is the best and most compatible web browser.

      I don't want to be feeding the troll, but seriously, you don't believe this, do you? IE has a history of breaking every conceivable W3C standard as Microsoft sees fit, and it's only because of Microsoft's monopoly that they can get away with it.

      Have you ever tried to make any web page look the same in IE and any other browser? Surely, the very idea of being "the most compatible" is somewhat moot if there's no point of reference. Who (or what) do you think IE is compatible with?

      And concerning which browser is "the best", there's always the classic list of 101 things that the Mozilla browser can do that IE cannot. [xulplanet.com]

  • by endx7 ( 706884 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:22PM (#8673309) Homepage Journal

    But Microsoft is now turning its considerable might toward catching up. It's a move that puts Microsoft head to head with Google, the world's most popular Web surfing vehicle, and Yahoo, the Internet's most popular destination, in what many see as an important, growing and lucrative market. (Boldification mine)

    Heh. Most popular? Nice to see that on Yahoo! News. (Although, being on yahoo may or may not have nothing to do with it since apparently it was written by an AP Business Writer)

    Or maybe Yahoo! is the Internet's most popular destination, but I never knew that before. :P

  • by tbjw ( 760188 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:22PM (#8673314)
    This is just in keeping with the idea that it's more profitable to advertise heavily than to improve your product or make it cheaper. For most durables we buy, the actual production costs are very low in comparison with the retail price; the surplus is eaten up by the cost of selling the product to us.
  • Online ads? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Tebriel ( 192168 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:23PM (#8673332)
    I rue the day that you can't even get through slashdot without seeing some kind of "Buy Microsoft Software at www.microsoft.com" ad.

    .
    .
    .

    Damn!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I want to make sure (a user) can't get through ... an online experience without hitting a Microsoft ad.

    Sounds like the online experience I'm having right now as I type this message.

    Go tablet PC go!
  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:24PM (#8673345) Journal
    Search: Linux

    results 4

    1.)http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?sci d= kb;en-us;314458

    "How to remove Linux and install WindowsXP

    2.)http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/migrate/ un ix/tco.asp

    "Linux more expensive to operate then Windows"

    3.)http://www.sco.com/scosource/linuxlicense.htm l

    "Linux contains SCO Unix intellectual property

    4.)http://www.linuxsucks.com"

    "Boy those guys at Microsoft sure know how to make great products ........"

  • Sad thing is... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aduzik ( 705453 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:24PM (#8673359) Homepage
    Just like with the browser war, the sad thing is that most users won't know how to change the default search page, or even that they can/should do it.

    IE became the most popular browser primarily because you couldn't avoid it on any installation of Windows. Netscape, by contrast, you had to download, install, and -- in theory -- pay for.

    Many Windows users will think it's too much to type in google.com and hit enter before they do a search, so Microsoft will once again use its monopoly to ruin a great product. Just like IE. Just like Windows Media. Just like Office. Just like Windows itself.

    Remember, Microsoft's OS monopoly is so undermining precisely because Windows is the only thing most of the great unwashed computer users will ever see, and Microsoft controls what they see on that Windows computer. Well let's enjoy Google while it's still in business :-(

    • Re:Sad thing is... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      OK, so Q: (not to you, to everyone). Why oh why oh why oh why doesn't Google have a "Get Firefox" link? Think about it: Google most popular search engine. Google links to Firebird, which has built-in Google search. Loads of Googlers download Firefox, love it, and stay with Google while Microsoft pushes the next IE with microsearch.com in it.

      I really don't understand why they're not doing this. They'd get to keep millions of users.
    • Re:Sad thing is... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pjrc ( 134994 )
      Microsoft will once again use its monopoly to ruin a great product.

      Yes, they'll illegally leverage their monopoly position, just like they always do.

      But keep a tiny sense of history....

      Just like IE.

      Netscape 4.x, slower, buggy, so poorly written it was discarded by the Mozilla project.

      Just like Windows Media.

      Tried RealOne? Long list of opt-in things you need to reject during installation, constantly getting bugged to pay for the premium player, advertising, and a legacy of silently collecting pr

  • by DR SoB ( 749180 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:27PM (#8673401) Journal
    That last quote in the article is wierd, IT'S A YAHOO TROLL!!

    Seriously, it doesn't attribute that quote to anyone, it just sort of ends the article. Also whenever you see "..." in a quote it means something important was cut out and the quote is wrong (this is common when advertising movies for example).

    I'm not trying to defend Steveio I just think it's a lame way to end an article.

    Serious, this is the funny quote I like:

    "That's probably the thing I feel worst about over the last few years -- not making our own R&D investment," Ballmer said at a conference for online advertisers held at Microsoft's Redmond campus. "

    COME ON! 75% of their software is developed by outside companies, then Microsoft just buys them out. I think he should have said "The worst thing is, we waited so long to aquire google, now it's extremely over-priced for us".
  • by httpamphibio.us ( 579491 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:28PM (#8673411)
    "I want to make sure (a user) can't get through ... an online experience without hitting a Microsoft ad," he said.

    X10 had this amazing new technology for years, didn't they? Let's hope Microsoft delves into this pursuit deeply and ends up with the same result as the X10 people did...
  • If I'm not mistaken (Score:4, Informative)

    by enkafan ( 604078 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:34PM (#8673480)
    If I'm not mistaken, Steve was referring to an entirely different subject when talking about the ads. He was talking about companies using their advertising budgets wisely, not the fact that he wishes he had google so he could blast Microsoft ads everywhere as the majority of the posters seem to believe.
  • by griffitts ( 739673 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:36PM (#8673516)
    ...if he considers bluescreens and error messages as ads.
  • Remember when? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by strictnein ( 318940 ) * <strictfoo-slashdot&yahoo,com> on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:40PM (#8673565) Homepage Journal
    Remember when Microsoft first scoffed at the internet as a whole, and then finally got in the act with their cute little "Internet Explorer" browser? Remember how we all laughed at them, and pointed at how much better Netscape was? I mean, Netscape Navigator 3.01 vs. IE 2.0 and 3.0. Think about it... then IE did infact become the better browser. Now we finally have the new Mozilla and Firefox and while they are again superior products (I can't stand not having tabs) the game is over.

    Are we now doing the same thing with search engines? It's like MS is late to the party again and we're too busy laughing at the car they came in to notice that they are eating all of our food.
  • by mantera ( 685223 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:41PM (#8673576)

    "I want to make sure (a user) can't get through ... an online experience without hitting a Microsoft ad," he said.

    He's not talking about the online experience a user gets from searching a current or future microsoft search engine technology... read the previous 2 one-sentence-paragraphs and you'll see that he's clearly talking about microsft advertising their products and services ELSEWHERE as they do now... he's talking to a crowd of online advertisers so it's about microsoft benefitting others, it all makes sense... also keep in mind that the butchered half-quote is within an article posted on a rival website that's according to the article stands to lose from microsoft future search efforts... yahoo! I think it's naughty of them to spin things to confuse people.
  • by ethnocidal ( 606830 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:43PM (#8673610) Homepage
    'At the conference, Microsoft also unveiled a study on the effectiveness of online advertising. The company is using the study as the basis for an argument that companies spending about 1 percent of their advertising budget online should consider increasing that to 4 percent or 5 percent because people are spending more time online.

    Ballmer said Microsoft spends about 12 percent of its media budget on online advertising, and that he orders his staff to "saturate" that market first and foremost.

    "I want to make sure (a user) can't get through ... an online experience without hitting a Microsoft ad," he said.'

    Which is somewhat different from that implied by the submitter; rather than Microsoft wanting to dominate search space, and slapping their ads on everything, it's actually a suggestion that online advertising can be effective, and that companies should spend more of their marketing budget online.

    Given the dearth of funding models for many websites, I'm amazed that people are willing to twist an attempt to get more money into advertising online as something more evil.

  • by UnrefinedLayman ( 185512 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:57PM (#8673755)
    The quote in the blurb is taken totally out of context. It's presented as a way to convince the reader that Microsoft intends to do the following:

    1.) Create a search engine that will be popular enough to rival Google.
    2.) Create a method of forcing users to view unending advertisements each time they search, click, blink, etc.
    3.) Profit unendingly.

    What Ballmer was referring to was the amount of money Microsoft spends on advertising. He was using hyperbole to explain that many companies only spend 1% of their budget on advertising, and they should bring that up to 4-5%. He then said that when he gives money to his advertising people, he wants them to spend a metric shitload of it on online advertising, thus when people browse the web, even if they're not visiting Microsoft sites, they see Microsoft advertising.

    He's not talking about abusing their own search engine to display ads but rather about spending their own money on advertising in the hopes it will net them more money.

    That's not to say that I don't believe Microsoft deliberately manipulates their current search results and will continue to do so in the future in whatever incarnation their search engine may take, and it's not to say that I don't think Microsoft is a horrible company that breaks the law as much and as far as they can and that they need to be broken up in order to stop them from abusing the market any further, and finally it's not to say that they're not contributing to the downfall of capitalism and democracy and society as it is known for much of the Western world, but Jesus, if you're going to play ball, play fair. Only companies like Microsoft play unfair, and that's fucking wrong , and you can't say out one side of your mouth "Microsoft isn't playing fair!" and say out the other "Steve Ballmer rapes horses, with the dead bodies of children!"

    Don't try to subvert truth like some neocon on a power trip.
  • In the 7 billion they plan to spend on search technology, I hope they spend some money on fixing win XP's search within file option. For me, it sporatically works. I often have to use a windows 2000 box over the network to search an XP drive in order to "search within file".
  • XFree86? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Slacker ( 607727 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @07:16PM (#8673933)
    When I saw the title "Microsoft's Search Goofs" I naively thought they might be apologizing for deliberately redirecting any searches for "xfree86" to porn.
    Alas, I was not surprised to learn that they just want to send MORE ads our way.

    MS has a long way to go before they can build a search engine that replaces Google in my regular use, especially if one of the main features of said engine is to send as many Microsoft ads at the consumer as possible. I use Google for its effectiveness and minimalistic site design. No popups, obtrusive banner ads, or flash ads to piss me off.
  • I had a tought (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jeffasselin ( 566598 ) <cormacolinde AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday March 25, 2004 @07:27PM (#8674056) Journal
    Could this actually be a prelude to including some form of adware in Windows? That would certainly fill that goal he has set for Windows users...
  • Search Engines (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Trillian_Angel ( 542729 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @07:29PM (#8674072) Homepage
    Honestly, I almost think it is a good thing that Microsoft is joining the search engine fray. I have several reasons for this, but primarily, the first one is that search engine technology has seemed a big stagnant. Take Google, for example. With a great many websites participating in feeding search engines Spider Food, it is more difficult to find results that actually match what you are looking for. If microsoft manages to boost this, and cause a stream of activity in fixing these issues by providing a high powered level of competition, then I think its great.

    Now, this does not mean I am advidly supporting Microsoft. This just means I'm supporting the addition of another wild card to the search engine battles that might have some good come out of it.

    I certainly hope so at anyrate, as using Google gets to be more difficult with each passing day.
  • by lordkimbot ( 631248 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @07:44PM (#8674187) Homepage
    ...Windows 2003 Server?
  • by porky_pig_jr ( 129948 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @08:00PM (#8674331)
    if I search on "Balmer's monkey dance", what would I get?

  • by MichaelCrawford ( 610140 ) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @09:36PM (#8675131) Homepage Journal
    I heard a talk on the radio, that was given to the National Press Club by Sumner Redstone, the chairman of Viacom.

    Viacom owns a lot of entertainment and media companies.

    Interestingly, he dismissed the importance of the internet as not being useful to his company. I think this was in 1994 or so. He said it was only of interest to researchers and hobbyists. His only interest in the internet was the possibility of video on demand, which his company had done some market research with, and determined was not going to make viacom any money.

    Anyway, the thing that Redstone said that really stuck with me, gave me a chill in fact, was:

    It is my objective that every American will be touched each day of their lives by a Viacom product.

    You'd think he was being delusional except that he made it apparent in the rest of his speech that he had the means to achieve that goal, and by the looks of it I think he's well on his way their.

    It makes you want to go live on a desert island, doesn't it?

  • by rice_burners_suck ( 243660 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @12:49AM (#8676568)
    Obviously, since Microsoft is a multinational corporation with tons and tons of money, they should be constitutionally entitled to eternal perpetually increasing profits. To that end, the Supreme Court should rule that ALL products even remotely related to computers should IMMEDIATELY become the exclusive domain of Microsoft, and that the prices for these products should double every day. In other words, if there is a program called 'ls' on UNIX, then that program should be renamed to 'microsoft-ls' and Microsoft should receive a constantly doubling royalty fee each time that command is used.

    And the Constitution should be amended to require EVERY individual to have a Microsoft Windows logo tattoed somewhere on their body, taking up at least 9 square inches of space, and that all newborns should have that logo tattoed on them upon birth. Yeah. That's a good idea.

  • I have four words for you:

    I love this company, yeah!

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