free html hit counter Once Again, MSFT Says It Will Be Better, Just You Wait - John Battelle's Search Blog

Once Again, MSFT Says It Will Be Better, Just You Wait

By - March 01, 2006

This time, it’s the company’s European chief, saying MSFT will be better in the US. Huh? From the Reuters story:

Microsoft (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) will introduce a search engine better than Google (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) in six months in the United States and Britain followed by Europe, its European president said on Wednesday.

“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.

Call me thick, but what the hell is this guy talking about? A statement like this should be coming from Gates or Ballmer. It’s a major gauntlet, and a significant timeline declaration (from a company not well known for meeting deadlines). No, wait, a statement like this simply shouldn’t be made, period. DO, don’t PROMISE. Sheesh.

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13 thoughts on “Once Again, MSFT Says It Will Be Better, Just You Wait

  1. Google has noticeably continually declined in relevancy

    with the exception of the last short Update, MSN has been continually increasing in relevancy

    It is unlikely that they will surpass Google in the near future

    But, they all must realize that there is only so far they can go with the current ALGO technology

    Changes have to be reevaluated from the Ground Up – the entire programming and hardware DNA has to be evolved

  2. darkmoon says:

    Not to mention their crawler hasn’t evolved. Hard to index things without a new one.

  3. Joe Hunkins says:

    Sure there is some bluster at MSN, but for those of us *paying attention* to relevance rather than stock prices it’s clear that Yahoo=Google and MSN is likely to catch up this year. Won’t the new battle be in the AI realm, where MSN is probably more advanced with neural network research than Google? Machines are MUCH smarter than people.

  4. Sounds like Microsoft isn’t confident with their product, I wonder if Bill and Steve aren’t willing to take the fall if MSFT pulls another Vista.

  5. From what I’ve seen of the incentivized search campaign that MSN is pushing, I’m highly skeptical that they truly understand search from both a user and advertiser perspective – this announcement confirms it!

    I don’t think they even know who they should be talking to in terms of getting their business model around search on track to be more customer centric and still please advertisers. It seems that the tech guys I’ve spoken to thus far, don’t really chat much to the business people who are trying to promote MSN Search. There’s an obvious disconnect here when comments like this are made.

  6. Jarod says:

    You’re right, a statement like this should come from Ballmer…

    and did!

    Coverage from Danny Sullivan on Microsoft claims:

    The question is whether the European director is still trotting out old Microsoft talking point, or this is the beginning of a new PR initiative.

  7. Philip Pearlman says:

    never underestimate your enemy google-onians… historically, softie has tended to rise to the occasions when crucial competative threats emrged – willing and able to fight a long term war of attrition… they just might surprise ya…

  8. John K says:

    Eric and Marissa slap back in this cat fight at today’s analyst meeting:

  9. You may have seen press reports and blogs attributing comments to me regarding innovation in the world of search following a recent meeting I had with journalists. Unfortunately, the comments attributed to me do not give an accurate reflection on a long and detailed discussion and I would like to set the record straight. I did not say that we would be ‘twice as good as Google’. What I did say is that we are committed to investing in R&D aimed at providing a search service, initially in the US in six months, that performs better than the current industry wide standard of one in two urls being connected to the subject of the original query. I also said that our aim is to perform as good, or better, in that respect than Google. This is a long term goal. I did not put a date to it as this is work in progress.

    The second point I made during our discussion is that we aim to make search a more holistic, integrated and personal experience. This is what our customers tell us they want. In the coming weeks, we will be able to share some new work that we hope will delight our customers and move towards the experience they are looking for.

    We respect Google as a competitor. It is an amazing company and should be recognised for its innovation in the search category. However, we know that there is a tremendous opportunity to improve the search experience still further, because many questions go unanswered today. We want to deliver a service to our customers that sets new standards and we are committed to long term investment and innovation to meet the challenge.


  10. Rob says:

    When Microsoft can get its own house in order, and fix the searches on its own website for knowledgebase support articles, then other search engines might need to worry. But so far, despite all MS’s hype (Oh why aren’t we surpised at this anymore?) all MS’s search efforts are USELESS!

  11. Joe Hunkins says:

    Holy qualifications Neil! I think folks really preferred the comment:
    “We’ll be kicking the relevancy out of Google’s A** in 6 months!”
    (I paraphrase from reports of your earlier comments)

  12. Gilbert says:

    You cannot just stop loving Microsoft!!!!

    If you are in the world of DB, you’ll hear MS pushing SQL Server Integration Services

    If you are in the world of Ipod, you’ll get all the buzz from ORIGAMI!

    And now if your in the world of Search, Whoooa! MSN just want to rock the world on their side!