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Microsoft Searches for an Answer to Google

Boot Camp feature for Friday, February 4, 2005

Microsoft searches for an answer to Google. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Microsoft has released its first search engine built from the ground up….in a bid to compete with Google and Yahoo. How is MSN Search different? Microsoft VP Yusuf Mehdi…

"It's designed to help answer people's questions directly. So rather than getting thousands of links, our aim is to try to answer your question directly. We have a feature called instant answers which can directly answer a question right on the page when you type it. So something like… what is the capitol of China, who won the 1977 World Series, things like that we can actually answer directly with our Encarta online encyclopedia…over a million and a half answers… in the new MSN search."

Like Google, Yahoo and others, Microsoft will make money from paid search results. But with Google's popularity making it part of everyday vocabulary for so many people….even making it a verb….what is Microsoft's strategy to take users away…

"A couple of things to think about. If you recall just a couple of years ago…AltaVista and a few other sites like that used to be the kings of the hill when it came to the Web and very quickly, out of nowhere, came a new service like Google to replace them. And as you go forward, it's also pretty straight forward to create a new service that gets people excited."

Microsoft plans a big advertising push…including Super Bowl commercials in some major markets…to try to make that happen. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.