Friday, July 2, 2004

Microsoft Debuts Hand-Me-Down MSN Searching While Developing its Own Capabilities

As noted by Reuters and other major outlets the new MSN search engine is largely a hand-me-down from Yahoo! technology while the Redmond crew continues to tune up its own search technology. Eliminating some contextual search ads was part of the short-term sacrifice required to get this effort rolling, and the product suffers as a result. Some features such as a dictionary lookup are nice, though crudely integrated via a drop-down selection box, but over it looks like - and is - hollowed-out version of Yahoo's own capabilities, which in turn emulate many of Google's industry-leading capabilities. Most importantly, none of this appears to be a meaningful step towards more robust enterprise search capabilities. It's inevitable that a major company such as Microsoft will get significant attention when it makes the most minor of changes, but overall this announcement rates as no more significant or useful than last week's find.com non-launch. There are many companies out there who seem to have some of the basic ideas in their minds as to what's required to create vContent but unfortunately there's a surfeit of companies who think that a familiar interface can conceal the lack of truly useful capabilities and content.
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