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Bill Gates told the World Economic Forum in Davos that Google kicked our butts," he said, while promising a better next-generation Internet search engine from Microsoft, due as early as next year.
The big news is the second half of that statement: due as early as next year.
So, another year of vaporware promises from Microsoft.
However, with Bill publicly acknowledging that Google kicked his butt, this suggests that he wants to seriously compete now. That the new MSN search won't be out until next year suggests to me that Gates realizes that it'll take some time building a search engine from scratch that can take on Google.
IMHO, this typical "vaporware promise" delaying tactic that has worked so well for MS in the past is going to backfire on them this time.
This time there IS NO software purchase to be made/delayed...Google is FREE, and even if MS is right on the mark with his new SE rollout schedule, Google will still be ANOTHER year ahead of the game.
Can't win'em all, Bill...
Then with their $billions they could steal all G's publishers with higher ppc - until they had a monoply of course. After G is wiped out its back to MS stagnation again.
It may be that Gates thinks it likely will roll out in June, but is just giving a conservative estimate to the media. If Gates had given the time as June, and bugs delayed the roll out, then everyone would be saying MS tried to compete with Google, but just couldn't get their search engine to work.
If he said the search engine would be ready in two months Google, Yahoo etc would step up their schedules on the stuff they've been playing around with lately. I think MSN Search will be out this year without notice.
The battle ground for the browser & messenger were won from the operating system, and yes thats where they intend to win back search also.
We have to remember that search engines are relativley a new technology - how did we survive before google - there is a long way to go.
Google is building a network of websites based, among other things, around communication- not a portal, but a network of websites that will help humans find other humans, that will allow humans to communicate with other humans.
The game is bigger than search, and only Yahoo and Google are playing it. Google is building a network: Orkut, Froogle, Google News, Blogger, etc. Yahoo is sticking to the portal model.
While Google and Yahoo are out pillaging the countryside, Bill Gates is still in his castle having his armor designed.
That's why I say the party's over. It's become a rave.
[edited by: martinibuster at 11:59 pm (utc) on Jan. 24, 2004]
>While Google and Yahoo are out pillaging the countryside, Bill Gates is still in his castle having his armor designed.
This I'll agree with. To succeed in search today means doing more than just having a www search engine. Gates may be aiming for more than just search. From my logs, it is obvious quite a few people use msn.com. Thus if Gates does it right, he could be a serious competitor.
Yep, I go back and forth on this one because, on the one hand, everything Longen says COULD come true. However, the unknown factor that I get hung-up on is the simple question of whether or not the courts will let MS do it.
Bill will say "Adding search is simply a logical addition to the OS," while the courts MIGHT say "Hey Bill, remember what we told you during our last little visit?"
It seems to me that each time MS bites-off another chunk of the market, the world gets a little less understanding of Bill's meta-plan for the universe.
[edited by: jk3210 at 3:58 am (utc) on Jan. 25, 2004]
I don't think that negates the whole search engine model of doing busness, does it?
Google does what it does exceptionally well. So does AV, ATW, and AJ. But Google is the SE of choice and unless you are a DSL/email/IM/News provider and have this audience locked in (Yahoo), you're going to have a hard time breaking the Google/Yahoo grip on eyeballs.
How often do you see another Cola drink come into the market? Not many. It's Coke and Pepsi. Same thing.
What you see is guarana juice, sports drinks, etc. Same thing has to happen in Search. I really believe the search wars are over.
If you are doing search, you can't throw a couple o's in the middle of your name and roll it out anymore. Web surfers don't need another Google. They have one already. And the Yahoo users are locked into Yahooing.
Look at Ask Jeeves, their user base has grown year over year, it's true, but their market share has not. They are stuck at 3-5% market share and there's no evidence of growing interest.
Google and Yahoo are expanding their "lock" on eyeballs.
Broadband is the future, AOL has lost that war, Yahoo is winning it. When the last modem user turns off the light and leaves the room, it's likely to be AOL alone in there wondering what happened to the party. It moved across the street to Yahoo's broadband.
It's a market share grab, and when MS comes to the party Google and Yahoo will have signed up, registered and "locked in" those users.
Longhorn was a threat a year ago when the search arena was different, and we were talking about it way back then that Longhorn posed a threat with search from the desktop. Not anymore. As soon as a surfer logs on to the internet it's back to Yahoo, or Orkut, or Google News, or Google's New Amazing product, and bye-bye Longhorn. They waited too long.
Who's going to be around to join Microsoft's party?
[edited by: martinibuster at 4:05 am (utc) on Jan. 25, 2004]
Even the biggest microsoft fans that I know (discounting those that are paid by MS) do not trust MS to give them an honest opinion. And I it will take a lot of time and effort before all these people will buy into the MSN search engine juggernaut.
According to my logs, I get quite a few hits from msn.com. A lot of people currently are using msn.com as a portal. And, if in Longhorn that includes by default a search box that uses MSN search, lots of people may use that because it is convenient. The trick for Gates is that he will need to provide search results of sufficiently high quality people will consider them an acceptable alternative to Google. If in searchers minds Google is clearly superior, they'll surf over to Google.
Search is beverages, a major component of the food category (ie WWW). KO expanded by buying up other brands and introducing new products but there are still many profitable beverage companies. Many of them private. Evian for example.
Search is far from over. There is tons to be done that isn't being done. It's too easy for a knowledgeable wemaster to crack the system and search results are getting worse.
Google is not perfecting Search, they are diversifying. That leaves the possibility their focus will stray from search and search will become a weakness, that a flawed search can be exploited by a competitor with a better project.
Same as it ever was.
I'm not one for predictions but Google is in a very precarious position in my opinion. I would hardly say Search is locked up, let alone the internet is a two horse race now.
hasn't anyone noticed the msnbot hits on their logs?
msrbot (research bot) has stopped visiting and msnbot is sucking up urls like there's no tommorrow..
With the amount of resource MSN has, why should it take so long to come up with a basic SE that spits out decent enough SERPs?
c'mon Bill, speed it up, be more specific, or both!
Compared to that effort, they seem to be just going through the motions with search. Most of their businesses don't feel threatened because the Office and OS people will regard Google and Yahoo as ASPs. Sure it's an interesting extension for Longhorn but Gates doesn't look to have fire in the belly committment; at least at this time. The group who will be pushing it are MSN, probably the weakest political entity in Microsoft.
The intriguing question is what search engine does he use himself? A guy like that is unlikely to be using MSN for serious research.
Up until recently, this was the case. Google didn't kick MS's butts on search, but more like MS saw having search as something they needed, but it was a low priority item. However, it looks like Gates now sees search differently. MS has tons of money they could throw at a new search engine, so I wouldn't underestimate their ability to compete.
I am excited that in about 20 years' time, search engines might become so good that they would be able to "search" for the perfect partner for a surfer by tracking his surfing habit, interpreting his image posted on web to determine his attractiveness, guessing his income from his spending habits on the net, and so on. ;)