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Google & Microsoft

Google Moves Toward a Direct Confrontation With Microsoft:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/19/technology/19google.html?hp

The project was started, in part, to prepare Google for competing with Windows Longhorn, which according to industry analysts will dispense with the need for a stand-alone browser.

The disappearance of the Web browser and the integration of both Web search and PC search into the Windows operating system could potentially marginalize Google's search engine. Google, well aware of this threat, hired a Microsoft product manager last year to oversee the Puffin project as part of its strategy to compete with Microsoft's incursion into its territory.

Google's strategy is to move quickly while Microsoft is still developing its Longhorn version of Windows, adding programs and services like its recently announced Gmail electronic mail program. The intent, say people who are aware of the company's strategy, is to lower its vulnerability to Microsoft by adding businesses that are "sticky" - in other words, businesses that create strong customer loyalty or are hard to switch away from.

hoser
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

There was a thread on this sometime back. Google is under serious threat. For example, if Microsoft builds a search that could integrate into help files. You search for "Excel Macro Tutorial" and you get not only the online help, but also internet based help, would you actually use Google?. Theiir business will plummet if Microsoft pulls it off.

The only way for Google to compete is to get dirty in the operating system business. A Linux machine that competes head on with Windows. They will have to do it, sooner or later.

Karthik
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Would you pay $100 yearly to a mysterious company who provides an add-on to Windows 2000/2003/XP/Longhorn making your data ridiculously easy to find?

As long as the mass majority of the users in the world are under siege by the massive amount of unsearchable data on their office or home networks, we will forever be looking for someone to throw $100 a year at. The data accumulated yearly continue to grow and I fear anyone in this game will do fine, as long as they can produce something that helps.

Li-fan Chen
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Li,

Spoken like a nerd. Did you know that Yahoo is just 5-10% behind Google?. This despite the fact that Google search results are far superior to Yahoo's and Yahoo rigs its search.

Most "ordinary" folks - the ones who matter to companies like Google and Yahoo are not the ones who go to Joel on Software or Slashdot. Rather, most of them are the ones who type "Janet JAcksons Breast"  or "Brad Pitt wallpapers". They constitute a vast majority of internet users. They dont give a damn to what search engine they use.

If Microsoft actually builds a  search engine based on SqlServer and integrates them into Longhorn, why would someone go and take the additional pain of buying some extra device from Google?.

The barrier to the search market is very low and there are billions involved. I bet Google has some thing planned. Something big. The thought of Netscape, Lotus, Wordperfect, Netware must be at the back of Google's head. They have to do something far far more radical than just build some software.

Karthik
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Microsoft make a good search engine. Are you kidding? Have you seen how bad msn.com is? How about the search facility on MSDN?

Matthew Lock
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

LOL... yeah, the only way to find MSDN articles in my local MSDN Library installation is to google for them on the Microsoft website, then write down the _exact_ title of the article because that's the only thing the MS Help 2 search engine can find!

Chris Nahr
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Neither Yahoo or Google return any results from an image search on "Janet Jackson's Breast". Seems like Microsoft won't have to do much.

disappointed web searcher
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Google's current domain is Web search. This is technologically vastly different from "enterprise search", where products such as http://www.autonomy.com/ rule.
The problem in search is never the indexing (find all files that contain "kablamo") but the ranking (here are the top 10 relevant documents out of the 1.500 that all contain "kablamo"). Raking heuristics that work on the WWW might fail abysmally inside the enterprise.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

You are not supposed to be searching on Janet Jackson's breast. Try using a computer instead.


Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Just me:

The google search appliance is a major player in enterprise search:

http://www.google.com/appliance/

Some of the biggest companies in the world are using it.  And you can integrate it, relatively easily, with legacy access control systems to silo information.

dir at badblue com
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

"Google is under serious threat. For example, if Microsoft builds a search that could integrate into help files. You search for "Excel Macro Tutorial" and you get not only the online help, but also internet based help, would you actually use Google?. Theiir business will plummet if Microsoft pulls it off."


Two things.  This is Longhorn 1.0.  Remember Find Fast?

SNT the evolution of RMS
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Dir,

In enterprise search there are two "top dogs", Verity and Autonomy. Google is somewhere in the middle of a very large pack of players, mainly riding on its brand name and lowcost solution. I'm sure Google stands a good chance of emerging from the pack in short time.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Integrated search from Microsoft alone will not hurt Google much, I suspect. GOOD integrated search will. Remember how Google became so popular so fast? Its search results were pretty helpful, whereas results from most other search engines were mostly dross.

As long as Google consistently returns better results than other search engines, Microsoft's included, it will do well.

Herr Herr
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I will also say that one of the largest companies (organizations) in the world is not using the Google search appliance as the most important and relevant results are often not returned (those results that few people are aware of).

Elephant
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

btw, the "indexing is no problem" was a big white lie just to focus on the "ranking" problem.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I think Karthik is right about the fact that most people just use the search engine that is in front of them, at least that's consistent with our logs.  Our top two referrers used to be AOL search followed by MSN.  I don't remember if Google was number three or not and I haven't looked lately to see what's on top now.  But obviously people were launching a web browser and just typing their search terms in the first dialog they saw.

I agree that the search capability on MSDN is abysmal, and I too almost always have to google in to get what I want.

I think the real determiner of success for Microsoft's integrated search will be whether or not they decide to kill the little cartoon dog.

offMyMeds
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Someone pointed out that Microsoft does not have good search now giving MSDN as an example.

This is incorrect. Microsoft search sucks because they have not put their minds and money to it. If they realize that search is the greatest thing, they will invest money and come out with a good product.

How much money do they make out of MSDN search. Do you imply they would never benchmark with Google if they developed a similar engine?

Karthik
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

"They constitute a vast majority of internet users. They dont give a damn to what search engine they use."

If most users don't give a damn what search engine they use, I would expect most of them to use the one that IE automatically points to by default, which is not Yahoo.

People also seem to assume that if Google loses its search market share they are doomed.  I just don't see it.  They have expanded rapidly into other areas, such as being the only worthwhile provider of targetted advertising (that I have seen anyway).  This is what actually makes them money.  Putting it on their search pages is just a high hit page for the ads.

MikeMcNertney
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

> If most users don't give a damn what search engine they use, I would expect most of them to use the one that IE automatically points to by default, which is not Yahoo.

Indeed, but there are other aspects to not giving a damn which are relevant. 

Studies show that many users click "Yes" within seconds of seeing any dialog box, and they don't bother to actually read it.  If users install software packages that produce dialog boxes that say "do you want blah to be your default search engine?" many users will click right on through. 

Eric Lippert
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Users have been using Yahoo since it was the best (mainly because is actually had real people to read the pages). When the web became too big for the manual approach it used Google. The reaction to its present technology will be seen in a year or two.

Consider what happened with Microsoft and Netscape. It took a fair amount of time for IE to win the browser war. It started to get a toehold with IE3, which was not much worse than Netscape 3, but even after it bundled IE4 (which was better tnan Netscape 4, though ot by a lot) people still stayed with Netscape. It was only when IE5 came out, which was demonstrably better, that Netscape users didn't bother to change from the default browser to Netscape when they changed machines.

Or look at ICQ. This easiy beat up MSM. It was only wnen ICQ committed suicide by obesity, and MS put some solid work into Messenger that the balance turned. And plenty of people are still using Yahoo Messenger (which incidentally has the Indian Market because Yahoo knows how to regionalize and MSN doesn't).

And MS search sucks. Google is capable of searcing the whole world wide web a hundred times faster than Outlook Search can search my Inbox! A Google plug in for Outlook - there's something that would make a fortune!

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

most of this is just a what if scenario. i don't agree that if microsoft decides to put money and energy in a certain direction they can produce the best product. google has a far better search engine and has a considerable head start on anything microsoft will put out.

i also think people are too quick to say longhorn will have integrated web browsing and search functions in their OS so that's what people will use. i wouldn't touch ie with ten foot pole so they are going to have to do some serious work on that before they will even be able to think about a web search function.

just my $0.02

new poster
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Gee, this talk reminds of a bunch of people talking about that they want to ship some goods, but need to build a boat. As they talk about building a ship…out the window all day long ships are PASSING them by! In other words…there is not a need for ship..as they are already out there! To ship your goods…just jump on one of the ships going by!

So, there was a NUMBER of posts here talking about Microsoft using some type of web based search engine in their products and how THEY MIGHT do this in the future?

HELLO????

The DEFAULT search for help in office IS web based now! Where have you all been!!!

Take a look at he following screen shot..where I typed in “merge” for help on a word merge?

http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn/test/xml.htm

The list of results in word ARE web based. That IS  the default. And, can you bet they are using that information to create a better an new product based on the searching? (this is a user feedback system ...kind of like the feedback developers give in open souce..but this is for the product side!). Unless open source starts to integrate customer feedback into their software…they are going loose battle after battle.

It is not much to have a search engine as default UNLESS you are going to use that engine to IMPROVE  your products. (ms is doing some really incredible stuff on this front right now…sorry…I am under NDA…).

My only point here is while everyone is debating IF MS should use some type of web based search…MS is well into a program that does just that…and office 2003 is an example of this.

And, if you look at the above screen shot..another ship passes by as many debate what format, or are asking that the word format be accessible to all. If you look at the above screen shot..it shows that word has full XML support. So, if you want to use raw text, and create xml using GW-BASIC on your 1981 pc, and create REALLY GOOD looking documents…you can…and word 2003 will open them, and display in nice format for you!

So, once again, I know of all kinds of companies now using XML with word…while a whole bunch of “OTHER” people are sitting around asking what kind of document format they should use..and preferably something that any ASCII editor or program like notepad can open and work with…

We have that ability now in word…..as others debate what to use…..another ship goes by..and with it carries a further market lead from the competitors.

A seach engine without a bunch of software is not much use....at least in the future..that is the way I see it...

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Kallal@msn.com

Albert D. Kallal
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Albert D. "Thread Killer" Kallal...

your posts are always too long.

josheli
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Albert, I have to take issue with your Word & XML comments.  It's true that you can write Word files in XML now (WordML) but that's no different from writing Word files in RTF which you could do for over a decade.  Moreover, WordML is a terrible format for writing, much worse than DocBook or HTML.  It's really more of a reflection of Word's internal data structures than anything else.

When people agitate about a plain text format to write their documents in they're looking for a format that reflects the document's structure, not the internal data structure of some word processing program.  And they want a format that humans can read without too much trouble.  DocBook passes this test, even LaTeX, but neither RTF nor WordML.

Chris Nahr
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Where's Philo to defend his master's reign?

[Disclaimer: I don't work for Microsoft, Philo does]

Jason
Friday, May 21, 2004

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