Microsoft challenges Google with uber search center
Dreams the impossible dream
Microsoft has realized that efforts to rig its online search traffic can only go so far. After using bribes to boost queries on its Live Search engine, the Redmond outfit has decided that it's also a good idea to beef up the engine's architecture, announcing a brand new research center dedicated entirely to search and ad technologies. Set up under the aegis of Microsoft Research, the new Internet Services Research Center (ISRC) will "work closely with MSN and other product groups across the company."
“We’re building an even tighter bridge between researchers and product teams,” said Rick Rashid, who oversees Microsoft Research, the company's worldwide R&D operation. “The ISRC represents a new model for moving technologies quickly from research projects to improved products and services.” The new center will be lead by Harry Shum, former chief scientist of the Microsoft's search and advertising platform group.
The move comes after rumors that the company was building some sort of mega-search team in Google's backyard. The ISRC may have been the inspiration for these rumors, but according to a Microsoft spokesperson, the center will be based in Redmond. However, the company did acknowledge that there would be additional teams in "Silicon Valley" and China.
Where is the Windows Live Search group located? The company won't tell us. "With regards to the location of the Windows Live Search development," the spokesperson said. "We have no information to share." We're banking on Mountain View. It's easier to steal world-class search talent if you're in Mountain View.
According to the latest numbers from research firm comScore, Microsoft handles only 13.2 per cent of all web searches in the U.S., compared to Google's 45.5 per cent. Meanwhile, comScore competitor Nielsen/NetRatings puts Google's market share closer to 60 per cent - and rising. Microsoft has a mountain to climb, but it seems intent on climbing it.
At today's Microsoft analyst summit, CEO Steve Baller said that Microsoft was on its way to becoming an ad powerhouse - and a big part of that involves search.®
Research centres don't work
Take 1000 of your IT people, call 100 of them a research centre, and what you're actually doing is saying 900 of them can't do research.
The 100 have to justify their 'research' status, and if ordinary IT people elsewhere do research, how can they justify their special centre? What is special about their centre if it's not where the research ideas come from?
If any of those 900 do research, it gets handed to the elite 100 and is dissed as a result.
Yet the more radical ideas are likely to come from the 900, not the 100.
Back of a fag packet nous.....
"Vista doesn't get done by three people in a garage in three days," said Steve Ballmer. The company is making big bets, and some of them will take time to develop. "A great misconception in the tech industry is that most successes happen overnight," he said."...Steve Ballmer ... http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/07/26/Ballmer-asks-Microsoft-investors-to-be-patient_1.html
Nice try, Steve, although true Innovators know that is exactly how IT happens..... with the QuITe Sublime Enigma of Eureka making herself known.
Gotta smoke/Wanna smoke.... or is burn out a problem, too?
The Real Reason Microsoft Search will follow rather than lead...
Having spent several years working in MSN I have the answer to why Microsoft can't really compete with Google in the search space. That answer is leadership. For many years now MSN has gone through churn at the top of their development teams and this turmoil has caused inconsistencies in strategy and planning. With no one steering the ship it's bound to hit an iceberg. The result has been an ever changing goalpost which has led to sporadic development efforts with no real insight into what the consumer wants, what is technically possilble, what will give a good ROI and more importantly; what is crucial for commercial success. There has been an arrogance that just because 'we are Microsoft' the battle will be won. That is simple no way to win and it's about time someone at the top sorted the mess out.
Here's my suggest for how to take on Google. Solve one really big issue like performance. Figure out how to geo-distribute MSN search and at least you'll have a chance to play in the same sandbox. Put a leader in place and set out a strategy and FOLLOW IT. Don't change the goalposts, listen to your consumers and think outside of the box.