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Microsoft goes after Google
aims to topple the king (ha)

 12:49 am on Sep 20, 2003 (gmt 0)


Chairman Bill Gates, Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and a handful of other executives sat down in February to answer a question asked countless times before in the world's largest software maker's 28-year history. Should Microsoft build or buy?

What they decided was to build technology that would eventually surpass Google Inc.'s ability to sift through the Web and return results relevant enough to make it the top Internet search destination.



 2:29 am on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Isn't Bill Gates richer than God himself? With enough money spent on paying the best geeks, Microsoft can easily make Google look like a bunch of second rate amateurs. Never underestimate the power of billions of dollars.


 2:38 am on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

best geeks


 2:44 am on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think this statement...
But analysts have interpreted the decision to build as a sign that Microsoft has greater ambitions for search, including plans to make it part of the Windows operating system, the company's main cash cow.

...together with a growing truism - now broadband is a reality - of a statement someone from M$ recently said of it being quicker to search for something on the web than it is on one's own hard-drive!

[edited by: TheWhippinpost at 2:55 am (utc) on Sep. 21, 2003]


 2:44 am on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

But analysts have interpreted the decision to build as a sign that Microsoft has greater ambitions for search, including plans to make it part of the Windows operating system, the company's main cash cow.

This could be the killer for Google. I have always wondered why Google do not promote their toolbar very much. It's not on their home page and not shown at the top of search results (bad move IMO). Most people I talk to do not even know it exists!

At the end of the day, I believe superior marketting will the race.


 7:59 am on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

MS should stick to what they do best. Creating buggy software!


 8:51 am on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think they can also create a 'buggy' search engine :o)



 9:04 am on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

including plans to make it part of the Windows operating system

Here we go again. Last time it was browsers ... get ready for another round of (probably unsuccessful) anti-competition actions ...


 10:55 am on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

MS should stick to what they do best. Creating buggy software!

... sigh

To be fair, as compared to the also rans, Windows 2000/2003
operating environments have features that they
only wish they had in their wildest dreams. Since NT/4.0
sp3, they have been exceptionally stable if properly
set up. They install easily, you can always get drivers,
there is copious documentation.

BTW, proper setup is definitely not some wannabe borrowing
the install cd from the help desk and taking it home to do
his worst. This is when all the newsgroups get flooded
with various high pitched whines about how it's all
MS's fault.

When MS decides to win, it might take them awhile,
and cost a great deal of money and manpower, but,
they do prevail.

Whistling in the wind is not a viable defense in the
face of MS. They have the money to sustain any
burn rate that is needed to win any battle they
choose to continue with.

Both Sun and Oracle have scars to show for their
efforts. Is Google next?



 11:03 am on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree that MS do not have the best OS out there, but they do have the best marketters and that is what wins every time.

Remember VHS and Beta?



 11:18 am on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Microsoft will rule the internet/search, because they have so much power with there windows operating system.
The next will be a SE build in the operating system (maybe longhorn) and the normal user just dont want to click the browser to get to Google (it hurts),
but thats how it will work and I even think they will make a good SE, but with some paying listings,
which realy is said, because then we will see the same results allover and the "little business man" will go under.



 11:30 am on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Move# 1: Microsoft installs a small search box on the task bar.

Move# 2: Microsoft sells/licenses a zillion copies of Windows (next version)

Game over

The majority of users will opt for convenience, regardless of quality. This is especially true for novices. And people tend to stick with what they learn to use first.

The bottom line is that Microsoft can and will dominate any market that Bill wants to dominate. Power and deep pockets (Bill an MS have the deepest pockets in the industry) will win out over any other factor.


 12:13 pm on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm thinkin Longhorn will have an integrated search system that combines HD and interweb search - Imagine, the software makers will have to build keyword-optimised software for ya hard-drive!

I mean, I've collected tons of CD covermounts from magazines over the years that're racked just an arms length away... now and again - usually when I knock them off the shelf! - I'll look through them and see software which I've downloaded off the net... basically, they're redundant!


 1:52 pm on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Move# 1: Microsoft installs a small search box on the task bar.

Longhorn Screenshots [winsupersite.com] - it's on there, it's not small & it's the first item at the top of the taskbar.


 2:45 pm on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

There is no reason for Google to panic. Microsoft dominate the desktop OS war but have failed in almost everything else they have ever attempted.

MS may well build a search interface in future Windows releases, however, I think it is a very safe bet that they will be required by regulators (European commission, Justice Dept, etc.) to allow other search engines to be connected. Even now, if I type in a search phrase, it is Google that does the search not MSN. In fact, I think the rumour that MS might build search functions into Windows is simply to try to damage the share values of search engine companies such as Google.

As for having the best geeks money can buy, if MS did have the best geeks, Windows would be a far better, simpler, faster, smaller, OS than it is. Under the surface, Windows is a ghastly mess. I've been programming for twenty years on and off but there are still many parts of Windows that are so grotesque that I cannot bring myself to try to understand them.



 3:20 pm on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google will prevail. Why?
They've got the best name!


OR ..

Google. Which is easier to remember?
Hey, I don't know much about Hoovers, but supposedly Dyson are the best these days.


 3:23 pm on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Furthermore, perhaps Google can consolidate their position as the king of search by teaming up with other household names:

The Google-Hoover.

I'd buy one.


 3:28 pm on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>however, I think it is a very safe bet that they will be required by regulators (European commission, Justice Dept, etc.) to allow other search engines to be connected.

If you wait around hoping some third party will protect you will fail. I would not assume regulators will require anything and even if they do it could take years of appeals before it can be enforced.

plumsauce is right - if it is really important enough to M$ they will put a lot of pressure on Google. They can make Google look a lot less profitable. Microsoft has the cash to actually pay us all per click to put MSN search on our sites just like the old VC dot com days. I also expect MSN to give away their search feed by XML for free to anyone to incorporate into their sites as they wish. And it is not just M$, Yahoo will also be fighting Google simultaniously as well as every other SE large and small.

Google is at the very top so from here all directons are _down_.

Keep in mind that over the last couple of years of Splendid Isolation under Google's rule that search has largely stagnated. Google has turned their resources to revenue and this might be an area of vulnerability _if_ M$ can actually come up with something better.


 3:30 pm on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google has the simpler name, but the masses buy computers with pre-installed software.

MS with a search box on the desktop could easily trump a brand name. Joe or Jane fires up the computer, and there's the search box, no recalling brand names, no changing default page, it'll just be there.

If Joe or Jane type in red shiny widgets, so long as there is anything in the first page that looks good to go, game 'may' be all but over, notwithstanding simple names, minmalist skins, advanced features, or even the cutesy yainkfastsallovermi annoying yodel.

Scary thoughts as the Great Pumpkin season looms out cross yon horizon.


 3:42 pm on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

if MS did have the best geeks, Windows would be a far better, simpler, faster, smaller, OS than it is. Under the surface, Windows is a ghastly mess.

Hear hear! Microsoft is more into Business and Marketing than it is developing anything. I'm sorry, but this has been true and oft-repeated since the Paolo Alto (first Xerox machine with a GUI) - Apple's Jobs developed on GUI and Gates the software that ran it - Gates later tried developing a GUI of his own but copped out and copied Jobs'. Nothing has changed since - Apple strives to leap ahead in usability (even sacrificing its own software to do so - Linux and OS X) while Microsoft spends as much as it needs to to stay right behind them - in copying any new interface ideas and reworking (or building another shell around) their old (but properly patented) software core.

All this not to say who's better, but to show where Microsoft has its priorities - it has all the 'best geeks' for sure, but geeks aren't known for innovation - Gates has got them running after apple for now. Perhaps Linux in a few years, who knows. But let's just say that if Microsoft does anything it won't be anything new and off the wall - it probably already exists or is in its developing stages today. Kirk Koenigsbauer can take his 'our ability to innovate' insinuations and stuff them up his *** : Microsoft has never innovated anything other than spreadsheet software.

And let me add that with Microsoft's bucks backing its copy and conquer 'strategy' , I'm a bit worried about the web's future if the aims of those in the article turn out to be real. Google is a good thing made from a simple but innovative concept - waiting to be crushed because someone else has all the bucks and is willing to steamroll others and their ideas in its quest for more?

I don't at all agree with any claim that something is 'good' just because 'everyone is using it' - that sort of naive non-cognition is what made Microsoft rich in the first place, and gave them the might that they have today.

I'm a great believer in 'to each his own specialty' as a focused development most always results in a better product. Google, though it is undoubtedly the best at what it does, for some reason still seems fragile to me. I would love them to continue their search for ways to give us more relevant and better quality results without any distraction by fears of being crushed, swallowed, or forcibly pushed aside by those whose aims have nothing to do with finding a better product that all can use.


 4:02 pm on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Most novice users do not run out and buy new computers or operating systems every year just because they can.

So, MSN incorporating the search into Windows will have an impact on NEW users only.

MS aleady has the search feature on the browser yet many people opt to use another search engine.

Most people who have come to use Google and like it will just use that instead of something they are unfamiliar with when they get a new system especially if the search results are dodgy. After all, we all know how well MSN search works now!

I don't think it is the Google killer everyone says it is, but it certainly will take a bite our of their share of the market if they can make a good seach product. If it's just another MSN, then it won't change things much. As far as it searching a persons harddrive as someone mentioned, I think most people would be a little weary of that. I don't MS searching my hard drive!

It's actualy a good thing because it will force Google to get better.

[edited by: mrguy at 4:04 pm (utc) on Sep. 21, 2003]


 4:04 pm on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

...and let me add that the net is still in full development - there is still a hell of a lot of mountain to climb before one can even think about the slippery slope on the other side.


It's actualy a good thing because it will force Google to get better.

Hear hear! I hope that's all the 'Microsoft scare' will turn out to be and that Google keep striving for that step ahead. Macs are expensive but Google's free : )


 4:37 pm on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have an idea for Bill instead of trying to do 100 things wrong, why not try to do one thing right like uh lets see........Oh I know.........Build better security into your OS.


 5:00 pm on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Searching and Windows Future Storage (WinFS)
In Longhorn 4015, searching has been updated somewhat (Figure). Now, we get a "What are you looking for?" Search Results window (Figure) that can apparently handle anything from documents, email, music, pictures, and tasks, to visited Web sites, people, or the Internet, all in one location. This concept is in keeping with the WinFS functionality I first revealed here on the SuperSite, but the feature is buggy now, resulting in frequent Explorer crashes (Figure) which, incidentally, seems to be written in .NET managed code now. Interesting. You can filter searches by "My Stuff," Help & Tasks, Contacts, and Internet (Figure). This is also very interesting."

winsupersite [winsupersite.com]

Interesting indeed, as I say, integration will be the deal IMO.


 5:06 pm on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think alot of you ppl really underestimate Microsoft. There is a reason they are billionaires. I you who would think that if you make something buggy, then make an improvement some will buy the imporovement. There not dumb, but really smart.
Microsoft has known from the beginning what it is doing, it probably has 50 psychologists working with them, there not geeks, they are very rich geeks.

With 40 Billion in the bank alone. Microsoft will at least simulate googles engine. Its as if you think they havent been programming for 20 years. Who doesnt use microsoft office etc.

Google has provided an evolution to the web, but
Google will have to really innovate and really form a close community, because one day the lines will be drawn.
On whos team will you be?

Google is worth so much now, if micrsoft starts and ppl jump on board. It is going to be very interesting


 5:28 pm on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google should make an OS with such a low price (or maybe even free) that people will use that instead of MS OS.

Currently, everyone knows and trusts google just as much as everyone knows that MS shouldn't be trusted. This thinking could pave the way for a very successful Google OS



 6:20 pm on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

<Microsoft Goes After Google>

Can anyone in world see anything strange about this? Microsoft would not be where they are today if they ignored competitors as would any world leader in their field.

When I first heard of Google it was through "Word of Mouth" and not TV, Newspaper, Billboard advertising. I have seen quite a bit of advertising by Lycos here in the UK but they could shut down right now and it would make very little difference. So it will take alot more than $$$$ to get anywhere near Google.

For me the only way Microsoft can win this battle is to buy Google, oh no, Microsoft probably will win then after all.


 7:07 pm on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

There is a reason they are billionaires. I you who would think that if you make something buggy, then make an improvement some will buy the imporovement. There not dumb, but really smart.

Yes, they are smart. Exactly in the above way. I could say that they know people are stupid, but it would be more precise to say that they know that most people, unless they know better, will take whatever's put in front of them. That explains the billions of 'windows installed' computers, and everything else microsoft does to make sure that it's in your face before anyone else is. That tactic in itself is bad news for Google - if a 'new user' (millions every day) fires up windows for the first time and sees that he can do a search from the browser... he'll learn how to use it and will be loathe to, in the immidiate, learn anything else until he's more experienced. Usually by then a user is hooked into a knowledge/work ethic/software compatibilty mess. Seemingly not related but more so than you think: it's not for nothing that the record labels are seeking to brainwash our kids at an early age.

I maintain that Google was made and remains in centred on the needs of the user - based on a bloody great idea which hasn't stopped developing in the same spirit since the day it was born. Google deserves to be seen and at tried by all who can, and for those who made it, the more the users choose to use it, they deserve every penny they get. Microsoft wants to rig the game in its usual manner, raking in for gullibility and ignorance more than actually earning its money because ot the quality of its product.

I'm sorry for going on like this, I'm sure you can see i feel strongly about this subject. Web searching is NOT and never has been Microsoft's 'field', but sure for sure, it can take it over if it wants to; if they throw their geeks far enough in their usual 'stratigic' direction.

We can of course as mentioned above 'join the majority' ; those who do so feel that they're riding a big machine, but they'll also be watching everyone else get the good ideas - at least until the machine gets close enough to crush (undermine or undersell) or crush (buy) them as its own.

Raking in billions with less to offer than others one millionth your size isn't a fault: it's a sin.

[edited by: Josefu at 7:50 pm (utc) on Sep. 21, 2003]


 7:08 pm on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey hold your horses everyone.

Micro$oft have made big errors before, just because they have all the money and brains does not mean a winning combination straight from the traps.

Its does mean that they MAY be able to pull together a competitor to Google, but will it be like MSN search engine now? I mean try using that. Is it a search engine? Or a billboard that happens to have a search option that pulls other peoples feed?

then look at Google. No comparison really is there. So saying that they wish to launch a NEW search enigne means that they accept MSN engine is a failure. Partly proving my point. Excellent plan poor execution.

Micro$oft got it wrong big time at the birth of the net trying to invent their own version and ignoring the net, you cant be much further from the correct choice can you?

They are successful not because they are the best BUT because they can afford to make errors and ride them out.

Its a day scary when this micro$oft beast appear on the horizon, And not a very good one at that.


 7:17 pm on Sep 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

IMHO the most important thing about SEs is relevance. We all know this, otherwise we wouldn't use Google.

MS could only compete if their search is truly better than Google's. They can't undercut the price (which they did with Netscape). They will do much more marketing than Google, but we all know that Google never needed marketing. Google is now the number one brand for searching in the searcher's mind, and MS can't change that. MS can give every user Search on the desktop, but if the results are not relevant, users will change to something better, even if it means to start a browser.

The only thing they could do to crush Google is to innovate, and we all know they simply never have been doing this before, not even once :)
It's the one thing Gates and MS never did. I think they are unable to. At first it was because of Gates' inability to do it, nowadays it's because they are too big.

So I think there remain only two possibilities how MS could crush Google:
(1) Buy it. As always, they're talking a lot, but most of it simply won't happen. What will happen is that shares and company assets of SEs go down because of MS talking. They've done that before with competitors.
(2) Google herself could fail. I think they are having some problems of their own. Results are not so relevant today as they used to be (purely personal experience). Also I think they are experiencing scalability problems (though this is exactly what they wanted to prevent when Google was founded). I see Google being more fragile than ever.

Please note that I don't hate MS or Gates. They are a very successful company. But they have strengths and weaknesses.

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