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Microsoft hopes to have Bing up and running on Yahoo! before the end of the Christmas holiday season.

Speaking today at a conference in Seattle, according to The Microsoft Blog, Redmond senior vice president Yusuf Mehdi said that Microsoft wants Bing on Yahoo! by the holidays so it can slurp up the extra search traffic that typically hits the web at that time of year.

Last July, after an epic gestation period, Yahoo! signed a ten-year pact with Steve Ballmer that will see Bing serve up search listings — both paid and "organic" — to Yahoo! users. The two companies are already working to make this happen, and as part of the deal, Yahoo! will send 400 of its engineers to Microsoft. "Right now, Yahoo engineers are joining Microsoft and they're sharing ideas," Mehdi said today. Yahoo! told us much the same last month.

That said, new Yahoo! CTO Raymie Stata has told The Reg that the company will retain much of its top search talent — even though it will no longer run a search engine. The Microsoft pact also requires Redmond to provide Yahoo! with a copy of its web crawl — its database of known webpages — and Yahoo! engineers will put this data to use across other services.

"Microsoft will provide Yahoo! with (and maintain) a copy of its web crawl cache for Yahoo! to use for other services," the company tells us. "This way, Yahoo! can leverage an up to date index for non-search uses without having to do its own crawl or continually hit the Microsoft search engine with its non search calls."

Bing just celebrated its first birthday, and though it's certainly an improvement over the old Live Search, it still ranks behind Google and Yahoo! search in terms of worldwide traffic. ®

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