News: Google vs. Microsoft (Code-name: Puffin)

edited May 2004 in Software
SAN FRANCISCO - Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are staking claims on each other's core markets.


But even as Google aims for the desktop and Microsoft turns to Web search, industry experts question just how heated the clash between the No. 1 Web search company and the world's largest software maker will get.

Google is reportedly working on a downloadable file and text software search tool, code-named Puffin, that will attack a weak spot in Windows -- which runs on more than 90 percent of the world's personal computers -- by making it easier for users to find information stored on their desktops.

Microsoft, now building its own search engine to challenge Google's lead, is said to be working on a way to include search technology in Longhorn, the next version of Windows slated for launch in 2006. (MSNBC is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.)

Google, which is preparing for its much-hyped initial public offering, declined to comment on its plans, first reported by the New York Times on Wednesday. Microsoft, sticking to its usual mantra that it has no plans at present to extend search technology to the desktop, also declined comment.

Although some reports predict a to-the-death clash reminiscent of the Microsoft-Netscape browser war, analysts and industry players cautioned that it's too soon to tell how a Google and Microsoft confrontation would play out because the companies have different goals and territory to defend.

"I don't know how inevitable the collision is," said Idealab Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Gross, founder of X1 Technologies, a Windows search tool, and developer of a predecessor product called Lotus Magellan.

Gross underscored that Microsoft makes most of its money from sales of its Windows and Office software products, where Google depended on Web ads for 95 percent of its 2003 revenue.

"Microsoft is looking to protect the operating system and their control of the desktop. Everything Google does on the desktop is about protecting their Internet advertising," said David Thede, president of dtSearch Corp., which with Argo Technology powers the free Terra Lycos HotBot Desktop toolbar that allows users to search the Web, e-mail and PC files.

"I have yet to see a real clash of interests between Microsoft and Google," Thede said.

Microsoft has signaled an aggressive move into Web search, and its MSN Internet division is enjoying the fruits of advertising delivered through Yahoo Inc. unit Overture Services, a Google rival. Microsoft's plan to build search and other Web-based functions into Windows could crimp traffic to Google and hamper its value to advertisers, analysts said.

Google since last year has been testing a deskbar that allows Web users to plug search terms into a box in the Windows taskbar, which is often located at the bottom of the screen.

The company also sells a machine that helps companies search their own data in corporate networks and Web sites. Further, it is testing a new e-mail product, dubbed Gmail, that offers far more free storage than is currently offered by Yahoo or Microsoft's Hotmail.

To effectively challenge Google on the Web search and advertising fronts, Microsoft would have to match Google's massive infrastructure that is widely believed to include more than 100,000 servers -- an investment analysts said it may or may not choose to make.

Industry players said a move into desktop search would be an intelligent and natural extension of Google's business, but not without challenges -- chief among them being how to make money from the effort.

Most providers of desktop search, including X1 and dtSearch, focus on corporate users who are used to paying around $100 to $300 for software. Scores of other software makers are in the business of providing tools to quickly locate information on PCs, and the landscape is littered with the corpses of companies that have failed.

Google users are accustomed to getting free services in exchange for ads. While Web-search advertising has been a home run for Google, its Gmail product that delivers ads based on the content in e-mail has sparked a storm of protests from privacy advocates and may not be as lucrative.

Industry observers believe Google will offer a free, ad-supported desktop product, which could spawn a whole new set of privacy issues.

"An individual can easily make their own decision about whether they want to give up privacy. In a corporation, an individual can't make that decision with corporate data," Gross said.

Source: MSNBC/Reuters
Some analysts hint that the next version of Windows will require a 5 GHz microprocessor, 2G of main memory, a PCI Express bus and a widescreen display - as well as an "always on" internet connection.


Geez, I don't think I'll be using Longhorn when it's released...

I just found another article, really funny.
Bill Gates' dream of an end-to-end search tool for corporate networks remains just that: a dream, at least until the end of the decade.

Advanced search features that Gates has termed the "Holy Grail" of Longhorn, the next major version of Windows, won't be fully in place until 2009, Bob Muglia, the senior vice president in charge of Windows server development, told CNET Read more atCNET: Longhorn goes to pieces

bwahahah!! :forcefeed:


  • Google 4 ever! MS never!

  • Google is better. But Microsoft is far trickier and have several important advantages. I wonder what strategy will Microsoft possibly use to deal with Google?
  • Hhhmmm, this sounds kinda like the Time Warner VS Microsoft fight again.
  • Microsoft always wins, they have enough money to.
  • If MS won then why did Time Warner get like five million dollor settlement?
  • Google 4 ever!

    MSN search is fuqued, and they plagiarized Google's info about it's bot!

  • Most search engines list the same sites in the same order. Who cares, we all know Google will win this.
  • TCPMeta wrote:
    Most search engines list the same sites in the same order. Who cares, we all know Google will win this.

    Yeah, nothing tops google. I hate when people use as their main page...
  • I use google as my homepgae.
  • What's a puffin?
  • Read the thread.
  • What does puffin mean.... I can't find it in the thread...
  • Well I dunno, read it again :-)
  • Looked it up... its a penguin.
  • Oh, well no shit.
  • It's like how Apple calls releases after big cats, just a code name, like 'Longhorn'.

  • LOL, M$ used to always do cities
  • Yeah. Like Nashville, Memphis, Chicago...
  • FishNET650 wrote:
    TCPMeta wrote:
    Most search engines list the same sites in the same order. Who cares, we all know Google will win this.

    Yeah, nothing tops google. I hate when people use as their main page...

    I used to have WinBoards as my homepage, but then I rfmt'd or something and now it's still the FireFox homepage, lol.
  • Microsoft just wants to be the best in everything (in my own opinion) geez will they ever learn Google is far more better search engine than MSN.

    (this is all in my opinion)

    and Linux will be better at stability and reliability too!
  • MSN is a bloated like WinXP. Everything from Microsoft these days seem to be bloated.
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