For good reason, Google has a reputation for using this sort of distributed computing system to reach new heights on the web. But Harry Shum, who oversees research and development for Microsoft’s Bing search engine, believes his company has now matched Google’s ability to build software platforms that can harness the power of tens of thousands of servers.
“What Caffeine is good at is freshness — how quickly you can crawl, index and serve documents,” Shum tells Wired. “This is something that we take very, very seriously [at Microsoft]. If you look at the freshness of our queries, I hope you feel that Bing’s freshness — search quality in terms of freshness — is at least on par with Google. And, yes, it all starts with the infrastructure.”
but Shum believes that Bing has finally reached a point where it can compete with Google on a technical level.