Microsoft Vows to Beat Google in Search Within 6 Months (Again)


In further proof that talk is in fact cheap, Microsoft has vowed once again to introduce a search engine better than Google. Slashdot points to a Reuters article that quotes Microsoft executive Neil Holloway:

"What we're saying is that in six months' time we'll be more relevant in the U.S. market place than Google," said Neil Holloway, Microsoft president for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

"The quality of our search and the relevance of our search from a solution perspective to the consumer will be more relevant," he told the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit.

If this song and dance sounds familiar, well, it is.


Relevance - now there's a

Relevance - now there's a subjective word. :)

However, I'm sure it'll be interesting to see how Vista relates to capturing users for search. 6 months they say...?

Load of shite. That is spin

Load of shite. That is spin generated by the Marketing department, no doubt. I can't believe that barring a genuine breakthrough / revolution in their algo, MSN can possibly catch either Y or G in 6 months. 24 months I could believe, but 6?

Don't the PR types ever talk to the engineers? Or do they just disbelieve everything they say on principle?


isn't relevance, G serps in many areas are significantly of less use than MSNs. Google now likes to give hints and pages that point to pages that probably are MFA, a really nice garbage collection in contrast to their "minty fresh" days.

All MSN needs is good buzz.

as this old TW thread

as this old TW thread suggests i think the issue is largely a marketing one. let's assume MSFT rolls out the greatest search engine of all time. is that enough to push aside google's brand and omnipresent search bar?

IMHO msft needs a big breakthrough that is Internet-related but not search-related to get some respect and attention. the problem is that out of G, Y, and M they are the only ones who are pre-Internet and as such they still have a lot of pre-Internet business processes and a value proposition that is not inherently designed for the web.

i dont think you can rule them out just yet as they have proven for 30+ years now that they have the ability to survive and adapt, but they really need to stop taking their time and start getting with the program.

Relevant Abandonment

Here is my issue. This post and similar posts on other sites tell a story of the search companies giving up on search revelance. MSN, Jeeves, Yahoo and now ever Google are telling us that the race for relevance is over - it's branding, public awareness and marketing that matter now.

This scares me. Not as a marketer but as a human who searches the internet for information and products. It scares me to think that the results I am getting back are the most relevant answers I am ever going to get. Wasn't one of the big reasons that Google was able to make it's initial advance on the web because we (as human) valued information and relevance - both of which Google excelled in...

Yes. I understand the laws of business and I understand what these comments mean - I know they aren't saying "search relevance will never get better" but rather "users don't care/understand relevance, they will use whatever we give them - thus just getting brand loyal is more important (time and resources) than product quality." But still, this marks a loss of integrity for all that we have worked hard to develop and maintain - truthiness and quality.

I figure that until search engines can figure out a way to give me either results or an easy interface to give me the exact results I want when I query 'apple' (the computer, the fruit, the artist and whether I am looking for information or to purchase) then the search engine's job is not done and they should not be saying that the relevance race is over. IMHO

>the race for relevance is over - it's branding, public awarenes

Agreed. That's why we're seeing Ask scrambling just to stay in the game and other engines like gigablast falling waaaay below the radar.


Branding & public awareness is all about money and MS have bags of it. Dont write them off just yet.

The only way that msn can

The only way that msn can accomplish its goals is by overall search quality going downhill to meet at their level. I'm afraid it could happen. Not in 6 months of course. MSN has no desire to improve IMO. If any search engine has the resources to do so, they do. They rather wait for Google to be weakened and then they will use their brand to fake it til they make it happen. I wished they would stop using the search engine marketing community to get their spin out. The Adcenter people need to come up with their own ideas instead of begging us for input. You don't need to ask for input, just read thru all of the Adsense and YPN related threads on various forums as well as the blog entries by people like Jen. If you really want quality, do your homework. They do what some new webmasters do when they join an internet marketing forum. Ask a bunch of useless questions in order to be able just to post and get their signature seen. Go away, msn ... that's my wish for this (almost) new year!

Too Subjective

What may be relevant to one may not be to another. It is a ridiculous statement in my opinion and something that really can't be guaged properly.

Even though Google is better these days, I will point out that MSN puts out much better results for anything fresh on the web.

I never even know that MSN

I never even know that MSN was ever in a race for relevance. Or for good software. From my experience, MSN just rushes things to market and then spends huge dollars advertising how wonderful their stuff is.

The thing is, if MSN really wanted to be #1 in search, you'd see their search site advertised everywhere. And when they decide to do that, Google may well fall to #2.

Bait and ... run away?

The MSN search blog sees Ken Moss, General Manager Web Search, backpedalling so quickly that I can smell the burning oil from here ...

('Customer Focused … Humble … Under Promise/Over Deliver …')

We believe that search is in its infancy. We believe there is massive opportunity to improve every aspect of the search experience including: basic web relevancy, new types of media, refining and interacting with your results, leveraging search server infrastructure to provide new services that were never before imagined, and so much more. We are committed to building the world’s best search engine which helps you get your answers as quickly as possible – and we are excited to spend many years continuing to innovate on our customer’s behalf.

That said, we won’t try to predict the progress of our competitors and so we won't forecast when we might take the lead, but this is a long term game and we are committed to helping drive the next wave of innovation in search for our customers.

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