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Microsoft To Launch Homegrown Search Engine 300

Mr. Christmas Lights writes "While Google is currently the king-of-the-hill in search engines, Microsoft continues to lag in market share and uses Yahoo's technology/results. But Cnet reports that they'll launch on Thursday their own homegrown search engine , although it appears this is mostly a face-lift (despite a year of development and $100 million investment). According to Bill Gates, they 'will introduce a homegrown web crawler and algorithmic search engine ... later this year,' which is almost certainly their tech preview (you can look at this now) -- but will that be ready for prime-time in less than two months?"
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Microsoft To Launch Homegrown Search Engine

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  • About time (Score:4, Funny)

    by lightdarkness ( 791960 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @07:52AM (#10775167) Homepage Journal
    I've seen their cralwer (their new one I presume) around for at least a month, without any indication on where the results were being shown. At least I have another spider to add to my list of robots that steal my bandwidth.
    • by b374 ( 799492 )
      Is this [] their crawler?
    • Re:About time (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FireFury03 ( 653718 ) <> on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @08:37AM (#10775341) Homepage
      The msnbot has been around for many months. I have seen many complaints about the amount of bandwidth it uses and I know many web masters (me included) have blocked it's access because of this so I dunno how useful the search results will be. I've seen reports of it sucking gigabytes off a site in a day, and then doing exactly the same again the next day, which is really quite serious for those people who have a reasonably small bandwidth limit on their web space.

      For me it was sucking several gig a month off my site, and was obviously very badly coded since it was refetching the same pages over and over (cachable pages, non-cachable pages and 404's). So in the end I gave up and outright blocked the damned thing - yet another bit of shoddy MS code out to break the internet.. :(
  • So (Score:4, Funny)

    by jbartone ( 612450 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @07:52AM (#10775168)
    Who's actually going to use this instead of Google?
    • Re:So (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MoonFog ( 586818 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @07:54AM (#10775173)
      Since it'll probably end up being default start-up page in IE, lots.
      • Re:So (Score:5, Funny)

        by zakezuke ( 229119 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @08:00AM (#10775206)
        Since it'll probably end up being default start-up page in IE, lots.

        Fortunately IE has enough in the way of exploits so the default start-up page gets hijacked often enough.
      • Re:So (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Technician ( 215283 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @08:04AM (#10775234)
        Since it'll probably end up being default start-up page in IE, lots.

        You mean the same people who use the default favorites? I looked at the default list once, then deleted it. It looked like a paid list from the yellow pages of the travel and media sections in the phone book.
    • Re:So (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Draveed ( 664730 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @07:56AM (#10775192)
      You would be amazed. This week I discovered someone in my office who knew nothing about google.
      • Re:So (Score:5, Funny)

        by Titusdot Groan ( 468949 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @08:30AM (#10775323) Journal
        Did your company fire them?

        I've got a running gag with my team that if I can find the answer to their problem in 3 google searches I get their pay for that week. The number of dumb question I get is WAY down.

        • Re:So (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Spoing ( 152917 )
          1. I've got a running gag with my team that if I can find the answer to their problem in 3 google searches I get their pay for that week. The number of dumb question I get is WAY down.

          Smart. Back when I worked as a Tech Support manager (pre-WWW, post 'net), the techs would constantly come to me with the same questions... I'd fire back to them "did you find anything in IZE?" (a simple but useful outline database back then). If they said no, I'd look...and about 1/3 of the time found the answer there.


      • Re:So (Score:3, Funny)

        by jimicus ( 737525 )
        This week I discovered someone in my office who knew nothing about google.

        What's google?
      • >You would be amazed. This week I discovered someone in my office who knew nothing about google.

        i imagine you had to use google to find such a rare person? :P

  • by alistair ( 31390 ) <alistair.hotldap@com> on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @07:54AM (#10775172)
    No Results Found

    Needs some fine tuning before it's ready for the prime time, me thinks.
    • Mod this funny, mod this flame-bait, mod this troll. But don't mod this Interesting. It's completely false.
      • 5 minutes ago that was exactly the result, now it returns around 1,500,000 results and is looking faitly accurate. Maybe they noticed people were visiting the preview site and decided to turn the back end back on.
    • Just searched for "where do you want to go today".. the first result was "Where do you want to go birding in Africa today?"!
    • And they might want to fix this: (from Netcraft)

      OS, Web Server and Hosting History for was running Microsoft-IIS on Linux when last queried at 3-Nov-2004 17:10:15 GMT
      OS Server Last changed IP address Netblock Owner
      Linux Microsoft-IIS/5.0 2-Nov-2004 Akamai
      Linux Microsoft-IIS/5.0 30-Oct-2004 Akamai
      Linux Microsoft-IIS/5.0 29-Oct-2004 Akamai Technologies
      Linux Micr
  • by ArbiterOne ( 715233 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @07:54AM (#10775174) Homepage
    Microsoft is branching out too much. Without ripping off Google, I don't really see how they can pull this off. In order to reverse the current trend in market share, they'd have to have a better algorithm than Google, a massive ad campaign, and the popular opinion on their side. Oh, and start giving things away for free (Google: Blogger, Picasa, etc.)
    • ... or ignore quality and just put it as the default (and only) search engine for a certain well-known OS...
    • by geg81 ( 816215 )
      It's not a "rip off" when multiple companies offer similar products, it is competition. Competition is a good thing: it lowers prices and improves products. And while Google has some good technology, they company didn't come into being in a vacuum and they don't own the idea of citation and reference analysis, either legally or scientifically.

      "Lower what prices?" you might ask. Well, Google isn't a charity. I expect Microsoft will compete with them on advertising rates and whereever else Google makes mo
      • It's not competition if they make it the default home page in IE from now on. And don't think for a moment they won't (for new installs anyways).

        It's those kinds of practices that everyone gets all mad at. If they would just compete without using their control over the OS as leverage, they would not be so bad (and maybe out of business?).
        • by troll ( 593289 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @09:14AM (#10775519) Journal
          Yeah! And whats with AOL using AIM as the default messaging service? And aol's mail for the default email? Its so monopolistic! They should license YIM and embed it into aol to be fair to their competition.

          Seriously, its their browser, why shouldnt they make the homepage their search? Moz's default is a moz branded google, how is this different?
          • AOL doesn't have almost 100% market share.
            it is illegal by law to use a monopoly position as an advantage in the market (and for good reason). Google doesn't rely on preinstalled search software, why on earth should MS have to make it the default to get cusotmers?

            love your name btw.
    • What's more, with previous forays into new fields MS had the advantage that the user didn't have to download or buy/install a large application etc. But google can just be your homepage ... where is MS' advantage ?

      I'd be surprised if it is a success simply because MS cannot deliver a clear reason to the user to use it.

    • Google have built up a market by offering ad views alongside their search engine, thus making money. It isn't about the search, it's about that market, and Microsoft moving into new markets is what it is all about.

      They do not need a better algorithm than Google (which is becoming increasingly gamed by shady companies and not as good as it was anyway), they just need something "good enough", like their OS is "good enough".

      As for reversing the trend, Microsoft have 1) leverage in the form of their existin
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The answer to the question "how does Microsoft intend to destroy Goggle" has been well known for a while. They will use the same old anti competitive tactic they used for Netscape and imbed the search capability direct into Windows probably via Windows Explorer. By upping the convenience, they think, the fact that the search is inferior probably doesn't matter much. It worked very well for IE, Office and the Windows platform itself. It hasn't worked so well for them recently with neither the Xbox or .NET
      • Let us not forget that Google is foraying into Microsoft's domain.

        Gmail and Google Desktop Search are not accidents. Hotmail is extremely popular, and with Google Desktop Search, Google has learned that people will install replacements to Microsoft's own built-in services if they are better, and if they are branded.

        And the browser war was never won. That was just the browser battle. By removing value from browsers, all Microsoft did was reduce the incentive for it to update its own browser after it ga
      • Microsoft may have won the browser war against netscape, but netscape lost it. Had netscape not put out such crappy products in the 4.x timeframe, they wouldn't have dropped below the 20 percent marketshare treshold, and people would have designed sites to work in both.

        For microsoft to win the search engine war, google would have to lose it, and that's not very likely.
    • They're not innovating. How about finding new areas to add value instead of going into areas that are already established?

      Creating a new search engine will not help many people

      Creating a new service that allows people to ____ (that no one has thought of yet) can help many people.

  • by seanellis ( 302682 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @07:54AM (#10775177) Homepage Journal
    "mozilla firefox" download
  • by jagripino ( 314506 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @07:54AM (#10775179)
    Don't *all* search engines have to have, hmm, some kind of algorithm in them?

    Marketing speak confuses me! Please stop!
  • by evil_one666 ( 664331 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @07:55AM (#10775181)
    This article is from june 30th
  • Seems a little bit slow to me. Maybe due to being ./ed....
  • by cloudkj ( 685320 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @07:55AM (#10775186)
    What with all the different search engines out there trying to compete with Google, more companies like Microsoft and Amazon ( are coming out with their own "innovative" search engines. Seems like they all just want to take a tiny bite out of Google's big pie... I do have to admit looks pretty cool :)
  • by Ambient_Developer ( 825456 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @07:55AM (#10775187) Journal
    I say it time and time again.. Microsoft is not a company of innovation (besides user interfaces), they are a company that aquires other companies. It is doubtful that a home-grown engine will beat the likes of google.. Especially being so late in the game, not only that what good will a face lift do? Google is already one of the easiest things out there, how can Microsoft make search even easier? THAT is the 100 million dollar question!
    • But it will - because it will be the default search in the default web browser of the default desktop OS on over 90% of the world's personal computers.

      Unless Google can do something really special (which it looks like they are trying to do - they can see the handwriting on the wall after seeing what Microsoft did to Netscape, Real et al. when they bundled their browser/media player as an inseparable piece of the OS) Google will fall just like Netscape and just like Real.

      Microsoft don't innovate in user in
  • by beders ( 245558 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @07:55AM (#10775188) Homepage
    No results for my name or a random word. More worryingly no result for "porn". Got a long way to go chaps, $100 million seems a little steep for a input box linked to an error page...
  • Search engine wars (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dauthur ( 828910 )
    It seems that Microsoft might just be trying to cut in on the business that Google, Yahoo, AskJeeves and all those other engines are making. I don't know what kind of a fool would use a Microsoft search engine anyways, the index would have to be built from scratch, instead of the years of data that Google and Yahoo have accrued.
    • It seems that Microsoft might just be trying to cut in on the business that Google, Yahoo, AskJeeves and all those other engines are making.

      No, Bill Gates is just trying to impress his wife. "Look at my search engine honey, search for 'bill gates nude'. I bet you have never seen THAT before!"
  • Dutch? (Score:3, Funny)

    by tompercival ( 318073 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @07:56AM (#10775191)
    Fantastic... dutch search results - just what I was after too.
  • Maybe.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    their 100m would have been better spent to stop the bleeding they are about to recieve at the hands of Mozilla before folks realize they can add specialized search engines in the search toolbar instead of just google. Once folks find out how wonderful this ability is I think it will even slap Google upside the head a bit. For real research I have found this an invaluable as using google tends to give me search results that are too broad, often from sources that are more difficult to document.
  • Talk about search biasing: Results 1-15 of about 17513887 containing "linux"
    Results 1-15 of about 31192494 containing "windows"
    Results 1-15 of about 25424770 containing "microsoft"
    Results 1-15 of about 6769904 containing "unix"
  • by Anonymous Coward
    is that when I searched for "Windows XP crack" it found a great page about an underground piracy ring called the SPA, they even gave me a number to call 1-800-388-PIR8. Thanks Microsoft!
  • Similarities (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ArbiterOne ( 715233 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @08:02AM (#10775217) Homepage
    Check out the similarities: [] [] []
  • by Libor Vanek ( 248963 ) <libor.vanek@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @08:02AM (#10775219) Homepage
    Just try to search "best search engine" and enjoy what comes out: &q=best%20search%20engine []
  • lack of trust (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vinsci ( 537958 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @08:03AM (#10775222) Journal
    Microsofts search engine lacks the most important feature: trusted results.

    In the past, it has been shown that Microsoft blocks search results that are contrary to its own business interests.

  • I searched for 'html' in their "preview" search engine and the w3c page for HTML was nowhere in the first 20 results. I didn't look beyond 20 results. The w3c page should have been in at least the first 20 results. Is this search engine really that good?
  • ... after getting enough users from directing all windows searches to their engine, they will create "search extensions" for all the sites hosted in a Microsoft server, and "special html/jsp search tags" for sites developed using their tools, which will produce a better placement on their search results.
  • Almost there... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Luigi30 ( 656867 )
    They have 99 million matches for Linux. Google has 162 million.
  • Sadly, Microsoft are up to their old tricks again...

    1. Release a sub-standard product which looks like the better original.
    2. Rely on their massive brand penetration to increase market share.
    3. Throw enough cash at something to make it worthwhile.

    It irritates me that they do this - it slows the rate of internet progress down by duplicating other peoples ideas. Why not invest in google and build on what someone else has done, rather than trying to completely monopolise all areas of the internet?
  • wtf? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mr_Silver ( 213637 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @08:08AM (#10775245)
    although it appears this is mostly a face-lift (despite a year of development and $100 million investment)

    I thought it was only marketing that didn't understand that just because it looks the same, doesn't necessarily mean you've done nothing under the hood.

  • THE bot? (Score:5, Informative)

    by knipknap ( 769880 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @08:08AM (#10775246) Homepage
    I wonder whether that's the bot that has been scanning my website for three days by attempting to "crawl" through all session ids and causing more then 1 GByte of traffic.

    "msnbot/0.11 (+"

    It was only stoppable by blocking the IP. (robots.txt was only read once before it started) Great, smart bot, really.
  • 3 bad results. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by caluml ( 551744 ) <> on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @08:12AM (#10775260) Homepage
    Orange. No results for Orange, the mobile phone company.
    Linux. No pointers to
    Google. Returns the Dutch/Belgian version of the page. Why?
    • Re:3 bad results. (Score:4, Informative)

      by BuilderBob ( 661749 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @09:11AM (#10775494)
      Orange. No results for Orange, the mobile phone company.
      Linux. No pointers to
      Google. Returns the Dutch/Belgian version of the page. Why?

      These are no longer true. I know it used to do this but now ...

      'Orange' returns
      'Linux' returns
      'google' returns
      'microsoft sucks' returns
      'abu graib' returns the photographs of inside the prison.
      'lindows' returns

      This is from Firefox 0.8 on Redhat Linux.


      • Re:3 bad results. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by caluml ( 551744 ) <> on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @09:33AM (#10775657) Homepage
        I ran those 3 searches a minute before I posted them. If they used to be true, they still are. I am in the UK. Maybe it's messed up over here?
        • Just searched again now. For orange, and Orange.
          Orange County Government Web site
          ... complied with the State Environmental Quality Review More... 10-27-04 This Week in Orange County By Orange County Executive Edward A. Diana I wrote to you earlier that I had been facilitating budget ...
 cached feedback

          Linux - first result:
          Linux Gazette | Making Linux just a little more fun!
          Linux Gazette would like to thank its sponsor: Latest Posts - Home - Past Issues - Old Format - Th
        • Mine were from the U.K. also.

          There are two different databases working at The first at www., and another at techpreview. www. presumably has some forced results for common terms (like Linux/ Orange) and even returns the versions from

          techpreview. on the other hand, seems untuned. It returns a wierd advertising blog when you search for 'news'. So their "algorithmic search" isn't quite there yet.

          Maybe they need to sacrifice some pigeons.


  • Any info on what "user agent" string will they use? I bet people will be finding all kinds of... interesting stuff on "Moogle".
  • by OblongPlatypus ( 233746 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @08:15AM (#10775272)
    Clicking on the tech preview link in the blurb redirects me to a French version of the page, at The problem, you ask? I'm in Spain.

    Minor detail, sure, but add it to the shaky performance of the actual search, and this product would seem to require more than a couple of months of fine-tuning.
  • by ttys00 ( 235472 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @08:21AM (#10775285)
    Will they be filtering out queries with this engine as well (eg. xfree86 being filtered as discussed here a while back)?

    Of course. And while they do that, I won't be using it.
  • MSN Bombs (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Nuskrad ( 740518 )
    My three [] favourite [] googlebombs [] still work! Also interesting are Best operating system [] and Worst operating System []
  • our habits. In order to make some real ground in this area, MS has to come up with something so compelling that it will motivate us to change. Google is already working for me - so what can MS do for me that Google doesn't already do?
  • Microsoft never gets it right the first time, usually after about three or four tries they come up with something half-decent, still far inferior to the competition (remember Windows 3.1, or the early versions of IE?).

    But they don't need to, they will heavily leverage it via Windows and IE, It'll be "built in" and soon it'll be such an "essential" component of the OS that no Windows-copy can be sold without it.

    That's how MS leveraged DOS to spread Windows, and how they leveraged Windows to kill netscape w
  • by chia_monkey ( 593501 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @08:45AM (#10775375) Journal
    Oh my. I can just see the search results now:

    Search entry: "Antarctic Penguin"

    Search Result: A paperclip pops up on your screen and says "It appears you are searching for a penguin. Did you know Microsoft servers are cheaper to run than Linux? Would you like to buy one now?"
  • by BlackHawk-666 ( 560896 ) <> on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @09:02AM (#10775459) Homepage
    I notice they're using Akamai instead of a cluster of cheap Windows servers. Nice of them to recommend to everyone else to use their technology, but then not trust it for their own stuff.
    subversion:~# telnet 80
    Connected to
    Esca pe character is '^]'.
    HEAD /

    HTTP/1.0 400 Bad Request
    Server: AkamaiGHost
    Mime-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: text/html
    Content-Length: 161
    Expires: Wed, 10 Nov 2004 12:56:31 GMT
    Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2004 12:56:31 GMT
    Connection: close
  • Nice and clean (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jmcmunn ( 307798 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @09:06AM (#10775477)

    I can't say that this will be my first stop when searching (Google will be until they stop being the best) but often times, if my result is not in the first few pages of Google, rather than figure out the exact phrase I need to search for to find the site I am looking for, I just hit a few other engines to see if my original phrase does the trick.

    I can see how this new MS search page would become stop number 2, in front of Yahoo as long as they keep it clean and light like Google is. Then I'll move along to Yahoo of Lycos or wherever.

    So yeah, I think this is a good improvement for my general searching needs, but it is going to take something amazing to replace Google as my number one choice. It's sort of a brand loyalty at this point.
  • M$ will end up having to do what they always do:
    1. Leverage their strangle hold on the desktop. Most people go with the defaults anyway, so this will drive them a lot of traffic.

    2. "Integrate" it with a version of Office. This is a "feature" as their new versions of Office are more net aware anyway, this will become a "feature" of Office showing their "innovation".

    3. When all else fails, "integrate" it into the core operating system so that you can't remove it. Again, this will be a "feature"
  • ...that it is totally impossible for one single company to have such a wide portfolio of products and services that are also going to be recognised by the rest of the world as being reliable and good?

    Microsoft have their fingers in just about ever single "software pie" there is currently yet just about everything they make is half-baked, unreliable and full of security holes.

    Is it not better to follow the example of Adobe, Symantec, etc. and focus on particular product areas (like graphics and imaging o

    • They are scared that something could come along and supplant the PC desktop and it's desktop based apps that their success comes from.

      Despite the fact browsers, network computers, mobile phones and the like haven't done it yet. They want to be in every market that just might threaten their current dominance, and push things back to a PC destop hub to keep it relevant.

  • haha (Score:3, Funny)

    by deander2 ( 26173 ) * <public AT kered DOT org> on Wednesday November 10, 2004 @10:15AM (#10776019) Homepage
    at the bottom of my search:

    "Results 1 - 10 of about 8 containing deander2"

    first off: "about 8"?!?
    second, WTF? can't they check for 10 results?
    • Hm, I get:

      Results 1-5 of about 5 containing "deander2"

      The fact that they put a static text "about" doesn't bother me too much, and it appears they fixed the static "1-10" which did bother me.
  • Search for 'Search' on Google:
    Al l TheWeb
    Lycos ...

    Search for 'Search' on new MSN:
    Vault: the most trusted name in career information
    Destiny Group
    Lycos People Search

    So, the fifth link on MSN is nearly - but not quite - relevant.

    Incidentally, Google doesn't list itself until 20th when you search for "search" on it. Which is interesting... maybe it's because of its minimalistic website which doesn't mention searching very much.
  • ...the article is dated JUNE 30TH (!), i.e. "Thursday" is probably July 1st, 4 month back, at the height of the dot-com boom ;-).

  • Microsoft(TM) Search Hacks is a collection of industrial-strength, real-world, tested solutions to practical problems. The book offers a variety of interesting ways for power users to mine the enormous amount of information that only Microsoft Search(TM) can provide access to, and helps you have fun while doing it.

    You'll learn clever and powerful methods for using the new and advanced Microsoft(TM) Search Wizards and the new Microsoft Search(TM) API, including how to implement Microsoft(TM) Windows(TM) Scr
  • I have found one case where they are not honoring robots.txt. Ok it's a preview, but it's bothersome nonetheless.

    Sorry, I am not posting the link, you just have to trust me or test some other site.
  • no NEAR operator (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Sai Babu ( 827212 )
    When will these guys take a cue from and incorporate the NEAR operator. For example Pussy NEAR cat returns a much higher density of feline related URLs.
  • Anyone remember what the infamous Registration Wizard did when upgrading from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95?

    I wouldnt put it past them to code a phone home feature for clickthroughs for this.

    Even if they get caught doing it, I can just hear the argument now, "Heck Yahoo, AltaVista and others collect aggregate data. Just look at what the URL becomes when you mouse over the link from thier lists."

    I for one, love that google STILL does not do that.

  • Of course it won't be ready in two months, but that's never stopped MS before. That's not their way. Their mantra isn't "when it's done" but "release early and often", and then eventually get it right. By releasing early, however, they get users too lazy to unknowledgable to switch later.
  • ...will introduce a homegrown web crawler

    How long before so many webcrawlers become the dominate form of Internet congestion?

  • Privacy concerns notwithstanding, and since I'm not using Google Desktop on a public machine I'm not very worried... why would I bother using MS's tool? I already have one that works quite well. I assume it will get better or I'll find a better one (e.g. PDF searching, integration with Firefox/Opera, etc.).

  • Who lives at Microsoft?
  • And I've said this before, but the best way to show MS they mean business would be to release a Google-branded version of Firefox. Link to it from the Google homepage. That would knock MS off its feet

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.