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Microsoft The Internet

Microsoft Testing Its Own 'Google Base' 198

sheasie! writes "eWeek is reporting that Microsoft is readying an online marketplace, code-named Fremont, which is apparently in response to a similar feature that rival Google Inc. introduced a few weeks ago." From the article: "The software giant will enhance the Fremont listings with localized maps, and make them available through Microsoft's newly revamped Internet portal, now known as Live.com, according to the company."
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Microsoft Testing Its Own 'Google Base'

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  • But... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tobybuk ( 633332 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @06:36AM (#14145661)
    Unless I can type www.google.com to get there is has no hope ;)

  • by Pranjal ( 624521 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @06:36AM (#14145665)
    Microsoft seems to be blindly copying whatever is coming out of Google these days.
    • by tehshen ( 794722 ) <tehshen@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @06:40AM (#14145680)
      Actually, both of these things (Base and now Fremont) seem more like everything2 [everything2.com] than anything else.
      • by BarryNorton ( 778694 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:04AM (#14145736)
        Agreed, Google Base is like everything2, but aren't you taking it to much for granted that Fremont is a 'Google Base killer'?

          Despite eWeek's headline and speculation, what Microsoft have actually said - 'online marketplace', 'localised listings and maps' - doesn't really make it sound like everything2, but rather like a hopeful 'Craigslist killer' (with an eye on eBay)...
    • i am sure blindly is not exactly there aproach to..... aww hell the have bilions what am i saying... if i had billions i am sure it would be cheaper/easyer/lowerrisk to have someone else start off a good idea then just copy or take/buy it from them.
    • Desperation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by OwlWhacker ( 758974 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:34AM (#14145817) Homepage Journal
      It's not just google, it's any successful market that relies on technology.

      It's called 'playing catch-up'.

      Microsoft's business model is failing, and rather than wasting precious time figuring out what new things it can do, it needs to quickly copy other successful businesses, and preferably kill them off (as usual) by leveraging its monopoly.
      • ...it needs to quickly copy...

        And very quickly, at that. Google announced it a few weeks ago, and now M$ has it's own. Is this industrial espionage at work or only bluff?
        • Is this industrial espionage at work or only bluff?

          Microsoft? Annouce vaporware to establish FUD about a potential competitor? 'Pshaw.
          • Or maybe it's not vaporware, not a direct reaction to Google, and somewhere within the 50,000 employees Microsoft just happened to have already been working on this before Google Base was announced...
        • "Is this industrial espionage at work or only bluff?"

          Actually, I talked to someone from Google awhile ago who said that there was a new feature coming out but didn't say what it was, but when I suggested that it was a good thing that they didn't yet give it a forward DNS resolve he just got real quiet. It's possible that someone just looked up available resolves from Google's DNS servers and extracted base.google.com, and proceded to figure out what it did.
      • Re:Desperation (Score:3, Informative)

        by courtarro ( 786894 )
        Microsoft's business model is failing, and rather than wasting precious time figuring out what new things it can do, it needs to quickly copy other successful businesses, and preferably kill them off (as usual) by leveraging its monopoly.

        I think you're contradicting yourself in that one sentence. Copying other businesses and leveraging its monopoly is their business model. MS really hasn't come up with anything significant on their own; their success comes from seeing the potential in other people's/compa

        • Copying other businesses and leveraging its monopoly is their business model.

          Yes, and leveraging its monopoly via anti-competitive practices, such as proprietary file formats, APIs, protocols, and other such encumberances.

          This behavior is no longer acceptable, and is being addressed [com.com]

          Microsoft's lock-in/lock-out business model isn't quite as reliable as it used to be.
      • Microsoft's business model is failing,

        Man, I wish my failing business model made me worth $40+ billion, amassed billions in a disposable cash warchest, gave me a monopoly over personal computing and a good chunk of server computing, employed tens of thousands, and gave my business millions of followers...

        • Man, I wish my failing business model made me worth $40+ billion, amassed billions in a disposable cash warchest, gave me a monopoly over personal computing and a good chunk of server computing, employed tens of thousands, and gave my business millions of followers...

          It's not all about how much is in the bank.

          Microsoft's market is saturated, it is dependant on upgrades, and people don't want to pay for upgrades so frequently.

          Microsoft needs to screw people to maintain its cash flow, this is due to its faili
      • Microsoft's business model is failing? Oh man, that's a good one.

        You let me know when your company has reached Microsoft's profit status, mmmkay?
    • Not exactly (Score:3, Insightful)

      by earthstar ( 748263 )
      Microsoft seems to be blindly copying whatever is coming out of Google these days.

      Neither is Google innovating everything....only, google is buying out new technology instead of developing from scratch [ eg:keyhole,orkut etc].
      And just because someone follows on , doesnt mean they cant succeed. Apple's ipod was not the first mp3 player,was it?
    • Microsoft seems to be blindly copying whatever is coming out of Google these days.

      With that kind of attitude, your resume must be pretty weak:
                "I copied a bunch of ideas and software from others in hopes of looking bright".

      You should "MicroSofterize" yourself. Then your resume can read:
                "I developed and patented innovative software systems for the betterment of mankind".

    • Microsoft have always simply followed the market.

       
    • Come on! If they are coming out with it a few weeks after Google, don't you think they had it in the works for a long time. In fact, given Microsoft's size and slowness, most likely Google copied Microsoft on this one -- they just finished first.
      • No. I think they slapdash oput something together and per the usual Microsoft way, will say it has more features than Google but not deliver any of them until a year after launch. Microsoft always delivers incomplete projects and this will be no exception. I guarantee that Google will have a better feature set for a long time to come.
    • Erm,

      I think that they're copying these guys [fremont.ca.us] - I hope they have good lawyers. Because they're about to get sued by MS!
    • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @09:06AM (#14146121)
      Microsoft seems to be blindly copying whatever is coming out of Google these days.

      Wait for me, I am the leader!

    • Yes, because an online marketplace is exactly what Google Base is. And Microsoft had time, in the 3 weeks since Google Base was launched, to plan, develop and test out Fremont. Get real. This was probably in the works before Base was known about.
    • Wasn't Google Base revealed in mid November? Damn those MS programmers are QUICK!

      The less fanboy reasoning would be that both Google and MS were working on the project pretty much simultaneously, and they were both copying from previous implementations already on the web.
  • by cytoman ( 792326 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @06:37AM (#14145666)
    This is good, because this creates a competition between two companies which are both strong...no chance of Microsoft swallowing up a smaller company and becoming a monopoly in this case...

    I hope this brings out the best value for the consumers.
    • It already has! Google!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I hope this brings out the best value for the consumers.

      • More likely it will produce incompatibilities between the different systems.
      • cause confusion for users / consumers
      • And, we'll be left with fanboys screaming the greatest of the system they use
    • No customer wants search dozens of fragmented commercial databases. Its much more convenient to use the largest. I remember there were dozens of auction sites before Ebay predominated. Google Base will probably upend sites like Craigs-list and the local online classifieds because it so easy and cheap to submit and search.
  • by wallyhall ( 665610 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @06:38AM (#14145672) Homepage
    They just copy good ideas (TM).
  • Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error '80040e14'

    [Microsoft][ODBC Microsoft Access Driver] Invalid SQL statement; expected 'DELETE', 'INSERT', 'PROCEDURE', 'SELECT', or 'UPDATE'.

  • Microwho? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @06:45AM (#14145694)
    That bunch of criminals who once held the defacto monopoly on desktop OS's and office productivity? I thought people got wise to those losers in the first decade of the 21st century?

    Oh damn, I just blew my cover again. The temporal overlords are probably going to send me to the 23rd century this time. Bastards!
    • I thought people got wise to those losers in the first decade of the 21st century?

      Please tell me they were first against the wall when the revolution came.

  • Marketplace? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Solokron ( 198043 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @06:52AM (#14145706) Homepage
    Fremont is a district of Seattle here. It is more so known for its eclectic people than marketplace so I find it an interesting choice for a name. Check out the myths section @ http://www.fremont.com/ [fremont.com]
    • There is also a statue of Lenin in Fremont, I am wondering perhaps these Redmonders do in fact have a sense of humor. Fremont also used to be headquarters of Aldus, and Abobe still has a presense there as well.
    • Re:Marketplace? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Frankie70 ( 803801 )
      Fremont is a district of Seattle here.
      This is probably a code name which will change before release.

      Other such code names are Whidbey [visitwhidbey.com] for Visual Studio 8.0
      Everett [everettwa.org] for Visual Studio 7.1
      Orcas [orcasisland.org] - next release of Visual Studio.

      All of these are places in Washington state.
    • Fremont is a district of Seattle here. It is more so known for its eclectic people than marketplace

      Actually, Fremont was known for its eclectic people. Now Fremont is known for its rich yuppies (many of whom probably work at Micro$oft), oh-so-trendy restaurants (someone needs to tell the Fremont folks that conveyor-belt sushi is the cheap stuff in Japan...) and its collection of frat-boy bars. The eclectic people have long since moved on to Ballard (rapidly gentrifying), and parts of south Seattle (ditto)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @06:56AM (#14145713)
    all your base are belong to MS :/
  • by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @06:56AM (#14145714) Homepage Journal
    ERROR 3260: Couldn't update; currently locked by user GOOGLE on machine INTERNET."
  • by BarryNorton ( 778694 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @06:57AM (#14145716)
    Actually this is not so similar to Google Base, but a more direct (and small-thinking) rip off of Craigslist, as far as I can see. There is the similarity that Microsoft also have a search engine to directly map over this data, but eWeek are going much too far (also in http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1877217,00.as p [eweek.com], linked) in ignoring the fundamental differences between a community listing site, an auction site (where the role of the provider is much more hands-on) and the need for Google to get their engine to work with sites dynamically generated from a back-end database...
  • Round 3212
    Microsoft VS The World
  • That's a change (Score:5, Insightful)

    by intmainvoid ( 109559 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:02AM (#14145729)
    It used to be that companies had to jump everytime Microsoft announced an initiative, dumping cash into project that at best would have them keeping up with Microsoft. Interesting that Microsoft is being forced to do the same now when Google moves - probably only because they're one of the few innovative compeitors that Microsoft can't just buy.
    • Name one? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:39AM (#14145838) Homepage

      I struggling to think of a single time that companies had to "jump" to keep up with Microsoft due to a new MS iniative...

      The internet... nope last there
      Enterprise Software... nope last there
      Spreadsheets, Wordprocessors... nope last there
      Multi-tasking operating system... nope last there
      Games Console... nope last there
      Mobile Phone OS... nope last there
      Desktop Search... nope last there
      etc etc etc

      Microsoft has NEVER dictated the direction of the market, its just leveraged a monopoly position to successfully copy other people's strategies and dominate in that segment.

      The only place where MS are seen to lead is in marketing, where they announce the week after another company has done something that Microsoft will be doing that "any day now"... 2 years later you may still be waiting.
      • Re:Name one? (Score:5, Informative)

        by SerpentMage ( 13390 ) <ChristianHGross@ y a h o o.ca> on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @08:13AM (#14145930)
        Yes, Office... Microsoft was the first to bundle everything for the Windows desktop and create a single "application". That helped Microsoft immensely because at the time people liked the fact that they could share content using cut/copy/paste. With respect to the other "last" there, they are not the dominate player, with the exception being the Internet Explorer.

        The monopoly for Microsoft is not Windows, but Office! Office keeps a good many people on Windows. I know that I don't use Linux because of Office (need Office for my daily work, and therefore bought an OSX box). OpenOffice is not a solution for more complicated documents that have automation, stylesheets, and versioning.
        • MS had a monopoly long before Office. MS would never had a monopoly on Office without there being a monopoly on Windows which wouldn't have happened if there wasn't a monopoly on Dos.
        • "That helped Microsoft immensely because at the time people liked the fact that they could share content using cut/copy/paste."

          That was then, this is now, enter the DMCA and DRM... Cut/Copy/Paste will get you 5 years now, and Microsoft again profits immensely, only its not helping users one bit. Now, I've got to change my identity to hide from ravenous Senators just for quoting you without including a bibliography with my post.
        • Yes, Office... Microsoft was the first to bundle everything for the Windows desktop and create a single "application".

          Nope, Appleworks. Even had a GUI version (cut/copy/paste between different applications) called AppleWorks GS. Long before MS Office.

          Before office, Microsoft sold a DOS version of Works which was semi-integrated. Could cut and paste between the integrated components. PFS WindowsWorks might have beaten Office integration, it came with my IBM 386/PS1 running Windows 3.1. This was at the ti
      • > Multi-tasking operating system... nope last there

        i would argue that apple was the last there. (i was an NT user long before i was an OSX user - strong linux user now however)

        for the record, i think OSX is a great desktop OS, and they have pushed UI technology be leaps and bounds again with hardware accel. compositing, vector graphic support, all of the "core"s, etc. but they *were* dead last with true multi-tasking.
        • For the record also, OSX is just a re-branded NEXTSTEP [wikipedia.org] with a somewhat better compositing software. Work has been done on it since 1986 and was released in 1989. The technology has been available since then for workstation.

          It only took near ten years to Apple to realise that they should re-hire Steve Jobs and re-use this OS for their machine and thus replace the anquitity they used as desktop OS.

          Windows NT [wikipedia.org] itself was developped (then as a 32-bits version of OS/2) only since 1988, and was out in 1993.

          Also, e
  • by FishandChips ( 695645 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:05AM (#14145740) Journal
    Good Home Wanted: for our beloved bulldog, slightly overweight, mildly arthritic, not good with other dogs or anyone with long hair, attacks communists on sight (hence heart condition) but loyal to right owners. Will dance for you if fed fillet mignon. Answers to name Ballmero. Please please help as we are desperate to relocate him.
  • At least (Score:1, Insightful)

    by GroeFaZ ( 850443 )
    At least Microsoft won't be able to sell all their recent Internet-based innovations (read: Google rip-offs) as true innovations. Copying off small companies and Apple might've gone relatively unnoticed, because, let's face it, Apple market share, how shall I put it, has growth potential. Google, however, is unchallenged in its area of expertise and in popularity, so Microsoft's rip-offs will be exactly that.
    • Let's see (Score:3, Insightful)

      by everphilski ( 877346 )
      recent Internet-based innovations (read: Google rip-offs)

      OK, this is perhaps a Google ripoff. But let's look at the rest of the list. Google maps: Rip off of Terraserver (a Microsoft product). Google Home: start.com (a Microsoft product) predates it [slashdot.org] Google News: msnbc news predates it. MSN messenger predated Google's IM client. So besides this item; I fail to see where Microsoft is 'ripping off Google.' Enlighten us, please.

      -everphilski-
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:09AM (#14145748)
    Today a leaked Microsoft memo confirms that aiming to become a market leader in the google field, is now the IT giants number one priority. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was quoted as saying "When someone wants to know something, and someone else says, just google the internet for it, we want the first address they think of to be search.msn.com". Analysts predict that this heavy investment in the field of web googling will pay big dividends for the company. Furthermore should the company achieve its targets, Microsoft's history of dominating other industries might mean that in the future, when you are confronted with facts that don't seem quite right, blind ignorance, or a compulsive drive to outperform your rivals in meaningless fact gathering activities, your first instinct will be to "just Microsoft it".
  • Anyone else have trouble signing in with a Hotmail account-based Passport?

    (I know, I know, but I'm not about to use any other address...)

    If I try to sign in directly, it says I have to register (but only allows this from a @microsoft.com address), and if I register separately it disallows @hotmail.com (and @msn.com and @passport.com).
  • by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:12AM (#14145753) Homepage

    Its amazing just how innovative that Microsoft is these days. I mean just look at what they produce for the (allegedly) huge R&D budget they have. They've got TABS in a browser (unbelivable) and now they are either ripping off GoogleBase or CraigsList depending on how you read it.

    Its great being a monopoly, you never have to innovate, just leverage your position to copy other people's good ideas.
  • by iamvego ( 785090 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:15AM (#14145762)
    Microsoft claimed that protecting intellectual property encouraged innovation, in other words they don't want people copying them because they feel copying is detrimental to being innovative. If this is the case, why is it they have suddenly come up with an equivalent of the open document standard, added tabs to their new Internet Explorer, copied Google's search features to the letter, and now copying Google's other offerings (satellite maps, online books and directories). I'm not really against them improving their services, merely that in doing so it goes against what they seem to campaign for. Microsoft now just seems to be a huge company, with huge resources and huge finances and clone anything that makes money. Where's their leadership in innovation now?
    • Microsoft claimed that protecting intellectual property encouraged innovation, in other words they don't want people copying them because they feel copying is detrimental to being innovative.

      Their primary "innovation" argument has actually been something along the lines of: "Open Source software is evil because it does not reward innovation, therefore it creates disincentives to innovation."

      Microsoft's embrace of software patents is explained by their second "innovation" argument, which is that truly a

    • by delus10n0 ( 524126 ) <delusion_@nospAm.pdsys.org> on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @11:22AM (#14147067) Homepage
      Regarding tabs, are you going to apply this same thinking to FireFox stealing "tabs" from Opera? Are you going to get upset over Opera stealing "tabs" from Microsoft's common controls? :)

      You also must not be aware that Microsoft has been in the web-based satellite imagery business for quite some time (search for Terraserver..) -- they have also had mapping capabilities before Google (see MSN Maps, MapBlast)

      Give me a break.
  • Base (Score:2, Redundant)

    by l3v1 ( 787564 )
    MS: Google, all your base are belong to us !
    Google: Hallowed are the Ori.

  • by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:18AM (#14145779)
    With Microsoft copying Google's every single move, it makes me wish that Google would go out of business and join a monastary. Balmer's already got the haircut and everything...
  • by OpCode42 ( 253084 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:26AM (#14145795) Homepage
    Let's call it "Freebase"
  • Easy Answer (Score:1, Funny)

    by Ragein ( 901507 )
    If google = has it
    then use it
    else
    ask /. for an alternative
  • Why Microsoft has to poke its nose to every business opportunity possible? Isn't there a piece of old wisdom that states that you should only fight the battles you can win? I know this has been said before on earlier MS vs [insert the company/country here] posts, but someone ought to give these guys a reality-bitchslap.
    • Why Microsoft has to poke its nose to every business opportunity possible?
      Yeah, these technological bandwagon-jumpers - IBM, Microsoft, Google - are real failures... if only they were like your company, right?
    • Why Microsoft has to poke its nose to every business opportunity possible? Isn't there a piece of old wisdom that states that you should only fight the battles you can win?

      Great question. What is Microsoft's strategic course? Gaming? Business software? Home software? I have to think Microsoft is shadowing Google with no real hope of competing directly. They are addicted to the Windows/Office monopoly. They know they need to change, but preserving the monopoly is a huge constraint. Trying to mar Google's

  • I am left to wonder what effect Google Base and Fremont will have on the dating sites and Craiglist style classified sites on the web and those just starting up.

    Will these services by the big boys simply kill the existing ones and prevent new ones from starting up? Or will they be non-competing platforms? Anyone care to take a stab at pondering this and share some thoughts?
  • Hah (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hiroko ( 110942 )
    Gotta love that innovation...
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) * on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @08:29AM (#14145970)
    Fremont is just the beta name, Boogle or Bill's List will be the new name.
  • by iamvego ( 785090 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @09:00AM (#14146093)
    Google didn't become famous because of some multi-million dollar marketing campaign. Nor did they aim to destroy other search engines. It's assumed that the public came up with the term Googling, and yet despite their quietness, their quality of service spoke volumes. So loud was this boom that it rippled through the entire online community so that everyone has heard of them in a very short period of time. They didn't bribe other companies to work with them, they gave millions to worthy causes, and have a committment to running an ethical business, where shareholders take a back seat. Microsoft have had a search engine for ages, covered with advertisements and cluttered menus. They stripped this down after Google came along, threw hundreds of millions of dollars all over the world to get people to use their site, and co-incidently ended up using the same on-page advertising style as Google. Their search engine was slower, had less results, and the results you did get were less relevent. Their aim wasn't to provide a high quality and innovative service which would constantly evolve, it was to take the market from Google and put the profits in their shareholder's pockets. They would only innovate if they were forced to as part of a project to increase revenue, some of which would only go to a worthy cause if they could get enough publicity from it (i.e. it's just another PR exercise). So, to summarise, Google tinker away challenging themselves and keep relatively quiet about it. Microsoft beaver away throwing armies of developers and marketing campaigns at their service while quietly ripping off anything they can find. Microsoft don't challenge themselves, they become challenged by others. They have no will to improve themselves without threat from others taking over a lucrative market. What I've said isn't exactly insightful, it's just commentating on what appears to be happening.
  • Sorry, couldn't resist it. We all know Microsoft's branding concept of taking the most vanilla, generic words imaginable (windows, office, sql server) and trying to turn them into brands. Live must have seen like a natural extension of this approach. But with Google's "don't be evil" those 4 little letters seem to cover a multitude of cultural references. I just can't be bothered to check if evilbackwards.com is taken, if not buy it, and wait for the C&D.
  • Good for Google (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bmh129 ( 928163 )
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Google rocks!
  • Innovation via impersonation.
  • ...playing catchup...

    Oh, wait, when has Microsoft ever NOT played catchup?

    I mean, where did DOS come from (if you are old enough or educated enough to remember)?
  • Now there's innovation for you. I wonder if I can patent this as a business technique.
    A method of business procedure or policy whereby we watch whatever new direction or new product Google comes out with, then copy it and add our own branding to it.
  • I know this is irrelevant, but hearing the name "Fremont" makes me think happily of how Dave Barry rallied his readers to submit poems to poetry.com under the first name "Freemont," all on the theme of the dog eating mother's toes.

    http://www.poetry.com/freemont/freemont.html [poetry.com]

    My submission was this:

    "Rhymes with Toes"
    by Freemont J. Uuvula

    Her method, surely, could be slow
    enumeration's limits low
    we count upon the things we know
    for Mother: fingers and her toes

    Such tragic fate: she, hobbled, goes
    her grimaced face

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