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Microsoft: Ready To Spend Money On Finding An Answer To Google

 11:53 am on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Microsoft: Ready To Spend Money On Finding [pcworld.com] An Answer To Google
"We need to do some work to fundamentally reinvent the search business model," Ballmer said during a dinner at the Churchill Club in Silicon Valley. "You don't brute-force your way into a market. You only make great strides when you redefine the category for the user."

And that will take some time. "It's a five-year task," Ballmer said. But Microsoft is ready to spend a lot of money trying. The company told its shareholders recently that it was prepared to lose "5 to 10 percent of total operating income for several years" to improve its position in search, Ballmer said.

The CEO offered little in the way of new insights during the evening, except that Microsoft will discuss "Project Red Dog," its secretive cloud computing initiative, at the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference next month.



 12:18 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

The interface itself is confusing. It takes ages to open an account. Moreover when my credit card expired they asked me to open a NEW account. Howís that?

I canít even change my credit card info?

I think its going to take 50 years.


 12:22 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

(Off topic)

And Engine BTW donít you sleep?

You keep posting now and then 24/7.

Or there are many guys having access to user: Engine?

[edited by: KFish at 12:33 pm (utc) on Sep. 26, 2008]


 12:49 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

And that will take some time. "It's a five-year task," Ballmer said.

As Microsoft started crawling to build up their seach index in the summer of 2003, haven't they had five years already?


 12:56 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

How about we cut them some slack at the moment and see what they've got up their sleeve?

Cuil couldn't do it.

None of the others have.

So now it is a battle for #2, #3, #4 and #5.

Microsoft, you might want to stay away from the thought of overtaking Google in search, that will not happen with just your efforts. It would need to be you, Yahoo!, Ask.com, and some of the other 2nd tier quality engines. I think you should go after Cuil and the others and bring them all under the MS brand. Then you can figure out what to do with them later. That appears to be the current MO for many. Buy it, get it off the market and then see if it can be used. If not, trash it never to be seen again.

You can spend all the money you want on finding an Answer to Google. Why not earmark some of that money and grease a few palms, you might get your answers in a shorter time frame and at a fraction of the cost. Hey, it's campaign season, when in Rome, do as the Romans do! :)


 1:13 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Microsoft is an interesting company... they have a few great products from the past... but they just keep stumbling on all their new stuff...

Live is pretty much a ghost town... Vista flopped... The new Word/Excel/etc were not well received... Most companies I work with decided not to upgrade to any of these products.

I agree with some of the others. We have heard this before... and it will be money well wasted for Microsoft.

They have become too corporate to "re-invent" anything these days... unfortunately.

I'm pulling for an XP version 2.0! ;-)


 1:53 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

If adding three failed search engines together was the answer to Google, Microsoft would already have it....that's what they did in their LAST "Great Attempt to Acquire A Second Horse For Their One-Horse Stable".

The solution isn't a larger collection of luzers in black suits, and therefore it really isn't something that can COME from a larger company. After all, if YOU were a genius with a new idea for a search engine, would you be caught dead going to work for MICROSOFT? Or would you be getting some of your genius friends together like Sergei Brin did ... or, for that matter, like Bill Gates did?

Lord Majestic

 2:00 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

As Microsoft started crawling to build up their seach index in the summer of 2003, haven't they had five years already?

5 years ago Google had 4 bln pages indexed and things were a lot easier than now - the main problem with catching up Google is that they don't stand still and you have to run very hard to even maintain the gap, yet alone close it.


 2:05 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Would you be caught dead going to work for MICROSOFT?

I really wouldn't be going to work for anyone anymore. But, I wouldn't mind being a part of the Microsoft growth moving forward. I think its time we share our love a little bit because we've been loving the wrong one for too long! ;)

Is Microsoft Search really that bad? I mean, if you use the 2nd tier search label, are they really any worse than Yahoo! or Ask.com? I don't think so. In fact, I think the three of them do pretty good overall. There is always room for improvement.

Google have lots of improvements to make in its own search properties. I don't see the same high quality results I used to see. The results are becoming blurred and they are starting to become Google dominated. Organic results are slowly taking the back seat to other things going on in The Gorg.

If MS are going to get "really serious" about this, I'm ready to provide some support. I have an allegiance to Microsoft as that is what I grew up with. And, there are a whole bunch of other people out there that grew up with it too. Ya'll talk about MS around here like they are a company that has moved past its prime. While I agree they have failed at search from a Google competition perspective, they continue to excel in many other areas. MS is just not search, they have a totally different business model than Google, or they used to anyway. And yes, I understand that G is the total dominating force in all things Internet. I'm trying to come to grips with that... ;)


 7:42 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

innovation, and quality have nothing to do with it. It is like saying you can make a better coke or pepsi. People don't drink coke and pepsi because they are better than the rest and people don't drink coke more than pepsi because coke is best. They drink it because that is what they have always done and that is what their parents did. Those two products have been around a long time they have mind share. People have loyalties. Nobody is ever going to come in and overtake coke or pepsi. Just like nobody is ever going to take over Google. The vast majority of people have no clue of how the internet works. Most of them are using google as an address bar. Go study the leaked aol data. People type in company names or product names. Well guess what all the search engines do really well on that. All searches bring up websites about what you typed in if it is located on the net. All the search engines do this. People go to Google to find stuff. I have not seen a day go by where I did not see somebody on TV use the word google to reference looking something up.

Most people don't even know there is a search engine battle going on. As long as there is the internet and people are typing searches on computers Google will be number one. MS and Yahoo are not even close. Anybody who runs a major site knows that google is at least 70% of all search traffic. I have seen polls on here where it is in the 80% area.

I run a website that was mentioned on a CNN talk show the other night. The website has a really long hard to type domain name so there was a lot of traffic from searches. 73% of searches came from Google. I have seen log files from 100's of different companies and it is always like this. I would even bet that at MS most of their traffic that comes from search engines is from Google.


 7:53 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Microsoft: Ready To Spend Money On Finding An Answer

and I'm ready to spend money with Microsoft if they ever figure it out. Until then, my ROAS will continue to tank and my max cpc's will drop until I have no keywords active.

By the way has anyone noticed that you can't pause a keyword with MSN?


 8:32 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Failure in one game does not necessarily mean long term failure. Lost three games in a row in hockey last year, only to win 15 after that.

Determination and financial backing can be a deadly combination.


 9:00 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

the difference for MSFT is not going to be the money they poor in but what they do with that money. it is Google's people and their interactions and ideas that have made Google what it is today. MSFT needs to spend that money on the right people. They are getting there, but not there yet. I am interested to see what happens here.


 9:29 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Microsoft will never do it by building some new search engine or funky alternative to search. If anything maybe they could leverage placements in Google organic rankings to gain marketshare in something. Offer Wikipedia enough money so they can't say no and then present the new MSFT offering as part of Wikipedia so long as there is something about whatever is "new" at MSFT such that people will find it somehow better than the Google experience that sent them there.


 12:27 am on Sep 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

reinvent the search business model

Funny how something needs to be "reinvented" when a competitor dominates the field, not when you are yourself the top dog.


 12:45 am on Sep 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Can Live be Dead?


 12:57 am on Sep 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Google is sometimes "too good" at finding things... like scrapper sites. One of the reasons I still use Altavista and Jeeves to REALLY find something. I don't need to wade through dozens (or hundreds) of scrapper sites. Give the consumers REAL SITES and somebody might be on to something!


 1:13 am on Sep 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

This needs to be seen from Microsoft's point-of-view:
  • Their office suite is clearly going to fall out of the market within a decade to open source alternatives, especially as a global response to recession. Shareholders and voters are demanding cost savings everywhere and many places have already successfully switched from M$ Office.
  • Their latest, greatest, and very expensive OS is poorly received and a substantially worse product than leading Linux distributions for most users
  • The sub-notebook class is demonstrating that people demand their OS isn't resource hungry and are happy to do without bells and buzzers - a complete change of direction for M$ who until now have believed that adding bells and buzzers is the best way to sell an OS.
  • The server battle is and remains lost, despite comical tactics used to increase M$ 'server' counts. Whether firms are starting a small site or running a massive online business, MS Server does not seem the best option to them.
  • Database lines are dying. Hardware is cheap, memory is fast, and free frameworks make free databases do just as well and just as fast as expensive SQL server products.
  • They took ASP and made ASP.NET complex and expensive in an effort to make it better hence are now losing to PHP even faster than before.
  • Nobody believes silverlight will get any more traction than ActiveX Applets. That sector is lost to Flash and the next entrant is likely to be Javascript + SVG or a similar entirely open source non-proprietary system.
  • They thought Linux users didn't matter and didn't support them, forcing them to create their own leaner, meaner, free and often plain better alternatives which are now jumping across to Microsoft's platform and posing an increasing threat both to their OS product and to their software sales.
  • Software development is now dirt cheap. Browser-hosted software on a par to Microsoft's top installable offerings of the 90s can be custom built just for you without emptying your savings account. Therefore, competitors don't have even a tenth of the overheads Microsoft has (and refuses to slash).

    Faced with that, and more, you'd want to chase after the company which is doing well in this changed climate too. I can't see Microsoft being around in twenty years if they don't crack this.

  • Vamm

     5:38 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)


    software development is only dirt cheap as long as you not require that software does actually work. Developing software that works properly is not cheap.

    Browser-hosted software is also on par to Microsoft's products of 90s as far as usability and stability are concerned (that is, problematic to use, sometimes to the point I would fallback to pen and paper).

    Star/Open Office is under development for what? ten years? and still not able to compete with MS office even in basic usability.


     8:28 pm on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

    I lothe web-based software.


     7:31 am on Sep 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

    For small business, if you actually need 4-10 copies of MS Office, plus upgrade every 2-3 year, Open Office is lot cheaper. Thats where MS is being killed. MS will rule personal use of office for next 10 years, but its hard to justify, that much money for small business. Large business are still playing safe sticking to MS or just not upgrading everyone.

    MS SQL is still pretty useful product combined with Access, Server and integration with desktop software. The death of MS will be when they lose this market to MySql and Java in desktop front.

    MS has already lost to LAMP, so it wont be long. So either MS Search becomes a player or Balmer sinks the ship in near future.

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