Moving Target: Microsoft's Relevant Search Engine Is Forever Six Months Out

from the stop-making-predictions dept

Microsoft's top execs might want to cut down on the whole predictions business. Last June, Steve Ballmer was quoted saying that Microsoft's search engine would introduce a search engine that would match Google's relevance in six months. Well, January 28th (exactly six months) came and went. Incidentally, this was about the same time that Bill Gates had promised to stomp out spam. Anyway, a month later, and suddenly Microsoft is out saying that this time it's only going to be another six months before their search engine is as good as Google's in the US. Either way, just getting to meet or beat Google in relevance is probably not enough to get people to switch. For many users, Google remains "good enough." Other search engines need to come up with something that is overwhelmingly better -- to the point that people feel compelled to switch. It seems unlikely that such a battle will be fought just over relevancy, however, but in some other area where Google doesn't have as much expertise.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    mmrtnt (profile), Mar 1st, 2006 @ 8:19pm

    Leverage


    So, you don't think that setting the default internet search engine to MSN in:
    • Outlook
    • Office
    • IE
    • Windows Explorer
    • Access
    • Windows Media Player
    • Movie Maker
    • Paint
    • Solitaire and
    • Pinball
    ...will be enough to turn the tide?

    MjM

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Bryan, Mar 1st, 2006 @ 9:16pm

    No Subject Given

    I bet in Vista, its going to be advertised on the wallpaper and screensaver default.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2006 @ 9:51pm

    stop being a portal

    a lot of the reason people use Google over others (besides relevance) is that Google ISN'T A PORTAL, most people go to a search engine to one thing - search, they dont wanna look at the crapload of ads that MSN and Yahoo show, they want the search bar, type what theyr looking for, and find it...

    simple as that - and IF MSN does make their search engine on par with Google, they'd go do something stupid like put it inbetween a crapload of ads, or with the release of IE7, M$ will be so conceited they wont see just how much MSN and IE suck, and IE7 will render the whole page improperly, putting the search bar behind 20 layers of text, pictures, and ads...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    ShaolinTiger, Mar 1st, 2006 @ 11:15pm

    Re: stop being a portal

    Yahoo and MSN have already changed, they aren't portals any more.

    Check search.yahoo.com and search.msn.com

    Simple and no ads.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Sohrab, Mar 2nd, 2006 @ 12:23am

    No Subject Given

    I would consider myself web savy^2 and i didnt know search.msn existed. I knew of just MSN.com or yahoo.com and most people know that and want to just go to that.

    they dont go to search.google.com so their not gonna wanna go to search.yahoo.com either

    for example, somebody asks u something and u say google it and they know its google.com not "search.yahoo" it

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Dr John, Mar 2nd, 2006 @ 4:02am

    Re: No Subject Given

    a little unabashed advertising on my part; try superpages.com. It beats out MSN everytime...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    egriff, Mar 2nd, 2006 @ 4:04am

    six months to new search?

    In the past Microsft has seen MSN at the forefront of their search developments. But hearing Ballmer's comments, it seems to signal that Microsoft is returning to an old, tried and tested, competitive tactic. When a new product arrives and provides a competitive threat they wait and watch, engineer their own and then integrate it into Windows.
    Vista is six months out.
    Its my bet that Microsft's new search tool won't be a revamped MSN - it will be in the heart of Vista - and embedded on the desktop. Or is that a given, and I'm just catching up?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Comprox, Mar 2nd, 2006 @ 5:46am

    Re: six months to new search?

    Sadly I don't have the article handy, but Im sure it was linked from slashdot in the past few days.

    There was mention that Microsoft won't integrate the latest search tools right into Vista. They actually learned their lesson from all the previous monopolhy lawsuits.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Marty, Mar 2nd, 2006 @ 6:17am

    New math

    On my calendar, June 27th + 6 months = December 27th, not January 28th.

    So, they're even wronger.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Luisa, Mar 2nd, 2006 @ 6:18am

    Re: stop being a portal

    The fact that they changed the search page to make it look more like Google does not make the search quality as good as Google.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Webman, Mar 2nd, 2006 @ 6:27am

    Re: Leverage

    Google is the king

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    none, Mar 2nd, 2006 @ 6:55am

    Re: Leverage

    Try doing a simple Linux search on MSN and Google.... See the difference?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2006 @ 7:30am

    Re: six months to new search?

    >>There was mention that Microsoft won't integrate the latest search tools right into Vista. They actually learned their lesson from all the previous monopoly lawsuits.

    I'm running the Vista Feb 2006 CTP release. The search *is* integrated in the desktop. It can be accessed via the Start button (the search feature is a peer to the Run option). The search works exactly like Google desktop search.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    John B., Mar 2nd, 2006 @ 8:57am

    Problem with Microsoft vs. Google

    Microsoft has a outdated business model and as much as they try to be the hip new tech company that is constantly exploring the cutting edge, they clearly lack something that Google has.

    My suspicion is that Microsoft will never be able to bounce back from the Google's derailing blow.

    Google is inherently better than Microsoft because they are learning and exploiting the gaps and weaknesses in Microsoft's business plan. They have taken the role of the successor to Microsoft in virtually every way.

    Google will be a leader throughout the 2000's, but even it will necessarily succomb to the unpredictable market changes of the future. What is required to 'take over' in this kind of industry is a tech-focused business model that is 'refreshing' to everyone in the tech community. Google's new ideas and simple features quenched the unfulfilled needs of the market, and refreshed the minds of tech people everywhere.

    Microsoft's glory days will remain a 80's and 90's phenomenon. Sure, Microsoft has enough stuff going on nowadays that it won't go away, but they are submitting to Google in a big way. I would suspect a significant paradigm shift from Microsoft in the coming years where they find something new to focus on.

    Maybe they will turn into a discount shoe company.

    JB in OH

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    KenKSoftware, Mar 2nd, 2006 @ 9:18am

    Microsoft Search Engine

    Bill Gates has repeatedly proven that he understands marketing better than he understands technology. Convincing everyone to upgrade their software every 2-3 years for slight modifications that should have been provided free-of-charge is his trademark. Now he is promising a new search engine that is no better than any other simply to drive up his stock price again. Each time he mentions some new Microsoft product or a rebuilt version of an old product his stock price bumps up a nickel or a quarter making him another billion dollars richer. It is likely that he simply hired one of googles programmers to create a duplicate search engine with a different logo on top and the longer he makes people wait for it the more he can drive up the value of his stock. When they actually release it and nobody uses it the stock may drop a penny or two but will not matter in comparison to how much he has made. In the end do we really need another search engine? Are people having trouble finding what they need on the internet? Can we focus on some companies that are actually trying to make something useful for a change?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Justin, Mar 2nd, 2006 @ 9:19am

    Re: Problem with Microsoft vs. Google

    I really don't think Bill and company can pull this one off. When I want to search, I open my browser and search Google. I don't want a Microsoft search bar in every little application on my computer, there is no purpose to that.

    Besides, having a personalized Google home page all in AJAX kicks my ass.

    Justin

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Tyshaun, Mar 2nd, 2006 @ 9:34am

    Re: Problem with Microsoft vs. Google

    Microsoft has a outdated business model and as much as they try to be the hip new tech company that is constantly exploring the cutting edge, they clearly lack something that Google has. My suspicion is that Microsoft will never be able to bounce back from the Google's derailing blow. Google is inherently better than Microsoft because they are learning and exploiting the gaps and weaknesses in Microsoft's business plan. They have taken the role of the successor to Microsoft in virtually every way. Google will be a leader throughout the 2000's, but even it will necessarily succomb to the unpredictable market changes of the future. What is required to 'take over' in this kind of industry is a tech-focused business model that is 'refreshing' to everyone in the tech community. Google's new ideas and simple features quenched the unfulfilled needs of the market, and refreshed the minds of tech people everywhere. Microsoft's glory days will remain a 80's and 90's phenomenon. Sure, Microsoft has enough stuff going on nowadays that it won't go away, but they are submitting to Google in a big way. I would suspect a significant paradigm shift from Microsoft in the coming years where they find something new to focus on. Maybe they will turn into a discount shoe company.
    And just who/what will replace Microsoft? Don't get me wrong, Microsofts products are crapola, but take away Microsoft Windows and 70% or more of the consumer desktops cease to function. How do you even compare that to google? Google goes away, loss of innovation but it's not a "necessity" right now to run and use your computer.

    Until Google OS comes out (and yes, I would be the first to get it) and manages to take a significant part of the market share, let's not bury old man Microsoft yet. I hate to say it but I've heard this song before (OS/2, Redhat Linux, blah, blah blah) and I'm not dancin until someones proves its not a one hit wonder! Everyone says its doomsday for Microsoft, mostly because we want it to be, but like a cockroach, Windows keeps crawling its way around (primarily because it IS the standard for desktop consumer OS, whether we like to admit it or not.)

    BTW, I use Redhat Linux on my machine as not to participate in the Microsoft monopoly but I don't delude myself into thinking most people use it or would be able to use it easily.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2006 @ 9:35am

    No Subject Given

    You know what I think the real difference is:
    Google stays ahead of the tech curve in inovation and it doesn't really cost me a thing
    M$ follows the curve and it cost's me $300 bucks every couple of years.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Jared Anderson, Mar 2nd, 2006 @ 9:54am

    Re: No Subject Given

    A Google OS sounds goods to me!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2006 @ 10:24am

    Re: six months to new search?

    "There was mention that Microsoft won't integrate the latest search tools right into Vista. They actually learned their lesson from all the previous monopolhy lawsuits."
    It's already integrated. Has been since Build 5270. We're all the way to feature complete Beta 2 Build 5308 now. It's not leaving soon. It is also in IE7 and can't be changed yet

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    live, Mar 2nd, 2006 @ 10:45am

    Re: Problem with Microsoft vs. Google

    try live.com it's better!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    veresh jain, Mar 2nd, 2006 @ 12:17pm

    M$ will win

    it is good to see google winning for now ..but just check out http://local.live.com and see the features , i can bet M$ is really preparing itself for google and when they say they will have search engine as good as Google we shud trust , check out the history .
    MS may not be the best in innovation but they are definately good in better-ing things .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This