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MSN promises Google-beating search

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Microsoft president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Neil Holloway last week promised that Microsoft's next search engine will be significantly better than Google.

Holloway said Microsoft would launch the Google-beating search engine in the US and UK before a European rollout.

He said: What we're saying is that in six months' time we'll be more relevant in the US market place than Google. The quality of our search and the relevance of our search from a solution perspective to the consumer will be more relevant."

Search experts were less convinced at either Microsoft's ability to improve on Google or its ability to hit a deadline. See John Battelle's blog here.

Holloway said the company would not be integrating its search into Vista, its upcoming operating system, for fear of anti-trust action.

By the end of the week, Microsoft seemed to be backing away from Holloway's frenzied gauntlet throwing. The Seattle Times reports that MSN will make some search announcements on Tuesday to distract attention from Holloway's hostages to fortune.

In slightly separate news, MS has applied to trademark the word "ReleRank" - assumed to relate to Claria's RelevancyRank - MS was rumoured to be buying Claria last summer. More from TechWeb here

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