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Thursday, March 25, 2004

Microsoft Regrets Outsourcing Search

CEO Steve Ballmer admits they wish they had done it all in-house, reports ClickZ news.

"People say Microsoft wants to do it all -- we outsourced this, and shoot, I wish we had done it all," he said, drawing a burst of laughter from the crowd.

Although it's tempting to believe that Microsoft has something incredible up it's sleeve, a more sober analysis of the search sector, including observation of the recent Yahoo Search rollout, suggests that in the grand scheme of things, bringing yet another search product into the world is really no big deal. Hundreds of search-focused companies operating today (or is it closer to thousands?) use search and navigation technology to accomplish various goals for the enterprise, for researchers, or for consumers.

MSN is a big-market player, and is search engine will be widely used. But one gets the sense that no one, including Microsoft itself, is going to be too excited on launch day. To most users, it'll be just another day.

A much larger battle than one over market share by the major "search engines" or "search products" may eventually be a battle over navigational and metadata standards. Here, Microsoft will be planted right in the middle. And that's as much about politics and position as it is about technology or consumer demand.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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