Microsoft Quadruples Search Power

Dennis Faas's picture

Although it is, without doubt, head of the pack when it comes to operating systems and some of the software for those operating systems, Microsoft is nowhere near the lead as an online search engine. That title belongs to Google, although a recent initiative from Microsoft appears ready to challenge for the crown.

So, what's 'ol MS up to?

In the world of search engines, the king is often the one that can find the most results on a given query. Microsoft's new plan is to actually quadruple the number of sites its searches link to. Not only that, the company announced that a new core technology will more efficiently decide which of those pages are worth the searcher's time.

When can we expect these initiatives to roll out?

According to Microsoft search and advertising group vice president Satya Nadella, web users can expect the improvements to be in place by the end of September. A few, more subtle adjustments included in the update will help determine exactly what it is a searcher is looking for, giving the engine the power to carry on even if a term is misspelled. (Source:

As for the entire initiative, Nadella believes "It's a huge improvement...We believe we can now compete with Google." Them sounds like fightin' words.

For the record, Microsoft currently languishes in third place in the search market. In August, the company reeled in just a fifth of Google's total searches (11% versus 57%). Yahoo currently sits comfortably in between (23%).

Although Microsoft acknowledges that search engines make money on the number of sites they can link to, that's not the only important part of the trade. Searchers consistently led to spammy, nonsense sites -- something Google has tried with moderate success to crack down on -- can often lead them instead to use a competitor.

Experts believe this initiative in particular could lead to some big achievements for Microsoft in 2008. In fact, one Gartner researcher believes the company may in fact challenge Google by the end of next year. (Source:

Heck, maybe by Christmas 2008 we'll all be "Microsoftin'" our Christmas lists, rather than "Googlin'".

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