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Microsoft and Yahoo Discussing Search Partnership

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the here-we-go-again dept.

Businesses 115

An anonymous reader writes "The Guardian reports that Microsoft and Yahoo are talking about a search engine partnership as they desperately try to come up with something, anything, to take on Google. 'Although there is no suggestion that Microsoft's failed bid will be resurrected, the two companies are believed to be discussing ways they can link up to combat the growing power of their chief rival, Google. Quoting sources close to the discussions, the authoritative Dow Jones All Things Digital blog said that "the talks between the pair are preliminary and wide-ranging."'"

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first post (2, Insightful)

FCAdcock (531678) | about 5 years ago | (#27537429)

first post. guess nobody cares about this one.

Re:first post (4, Funny)

Samschnooks (1415697) | about 5 years ago | (#27537671)

You misspelled it - it's frist pospt! God!

You see, it's a technique. It takes years of practice. First, you drink a shit load of caffeine. Then, after it gets in your system, you bring up Slashdot. Then, and only then, you get in touch with your inner self, connect with the Universe, and connect with your higher power as you see Him.

Now, type blindingly fast "First Post". Hopefully, it will come out fist5 posts. See how I did that?


firsyt posts.


Now, you try.

Re:first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27537843)

First Post.

. . .

Dang. My keyboard must be broken.

Re:first post (1)

actionbastard (1206160) | about 5 years ago | (#27538993)

No, that's not it. It's one of the following:
Fist Prost. or
Frost Piss. or
Frosty Piss. or
Some comment questioning the sexual orientation of /. users. or
Some comment about defecation and Obama. or
Some comment about /. users fellating some AC. or
Some random text that links to some picture of goatse on a malicious site.
Which means, that you really are new around here.

Re:first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27539281)

You're missing the CowboyNeal option.

Re:first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27539553)

I was going to mention the GNAA, but you beat me to it.

Last! Ummm... wait... (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 years ago | (#27537493)

that doesn't work, does it?

Anyway, Google started with a search methodology that was dreamed up by two guys in their spare time. Obviously, it was a good one. Still, seems to me that Microsoft and Yahoo, with all their money and competent programmers, simply need to come up with a better one. Otherwise, what else can they bring to the table?

Re:Last! Ummm... wait... (4, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | about 5 years ago | (#27537693)

That's what I love about IT. All the money in the world won't necessarily beat a persistent and smart person.

Even if you tie two rocks together, it doesn't mean they'll float. MS and Yahoo need to look into R&D, not merger - this move makes no sense.

Re:Last! Ummm... wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27539385)

R&D?!? Bu-wahhhaaa, that was soo 90's. Get over it already.

Re:Last! Ummm... wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27539441)

Ooops, forgot the winky face emoticon after that, -sorry by bad.

Re:Last! Ummm... wait... (1)

societyofrobots (1396043) | about 5 years ago | (#27540539)

Microsoft and Yahoo have been copying Google for the last 9 years, and yet their copies are still really poor and second rate.

I use Google services, and will continue to use Google services, until Yahoo and Microsoft decides that maybe they need to improve quality and service to get customers.

I use Adsense, Adwords, Maps, Gmail, Checkout, Froogle, Scholar, and others - and I spend a lot of money with them too. Compare these to the second rate copies, and Google is way better.

Actually, the quality of Google services are steadily dropping. For example Checkout keeps increasing fees, and Adsense keeps reducing payouts by 50% a year for the last 4 years.

I would happily swap over to Yahoo or Microsoft if they actually offered something better.

Merger != Quality

Re:Last! Ummm... wait... (1)

David Gerard (12369) | about 5 years ago | (#27540617)

To be fair, Google Image Search is still shitty. Microsoft Live Image Search is nearly as useful in practice.

Google cracked the text search problem and have the best email client ever. That doesn't mean they shit gold, or even close.

Re:Last! Ummm... wait... (2, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#27537965)

Search quality isn't the only issue; Google is bringing in more advertising money (and at a higher rate). Yahoo! and Microsoft combined could well do better than either alone (all they have to do is convince advertising customers that they are providing better value).

I don't use Yahoo! or Microsoft for searching much so I don't really have any idea, but I have heard at least rumblings that they aren't too far from what Google offers.

Re:Last! Ummm... wait... (1)

wisty (1335733) | about 5 years ago | (#27538321)

The danger is that search is not "Good Enough". Microsoft can't beat Linux servers because kernels are "Good Enough", but it can win in the office suite space.

In a design problem like "search the web, and return the most popular and relevant sites from the input phrase", there is just not a lot of scope to make massive improvements. Google's pagerank algorithm was probably the only massive step. Nobody needs to switch, unless Google makes a really heinous mistake, like adopting a Twitter-like interface.

Re:Last! Ummm... wait... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 5 years ago | (#27538881)

Well, as someone who uses Yahoo Search exclusively I can say for me Yahoo gives the better experience. It really is a shame that more folks don't try Yahoo Search because IMHO it has gotten better than Google. What makes it better is that little more button tab at the top. I can type in "the dark knight" and I get reviews, interviews,trailer, Heath Ledger, etc. The only problem is the GUI isn't intuitive if you aren't the "ooh what does THAT do?" type like I am.

Most folks don't realize that little blue tab right below the search box is the more tab, since it isn't labeled as such. but after using the more tab I just can't stand using Google anymore. It makes it just too easy to drill down to exactly what I want without having to do a lot of typing. Plus the fact that their more tab supports tabbed browsing just seals the deal for me. Give it a try and I bet you'll be hooked too.

Re:Last! Ummm... wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27539265)

I suppose for at least a few people, the Yahoo homepage is overwhelming and unlike Google's simple homepage. However, http://search.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com] does provide a nice, clean Google-like interface.

Re:Last! Ummm... wait... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 5 years ago | (#27540509)

It has been a long time since Google was genuinely better in its search results. It was definitely revolutionary back in its day (which is why it killed off all competition so quickly), but by now the rest have caught up. It's now more an issue of usability and market penetration than anything else.

Re:Last! Ummm... wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27544869)

Really though. in all the latest search relevance rankings, Yahoo! and even Microsoft's Live search both are on par with Google. There "difference" is very slight these days.

Really it comes down to Google having their name out there more then anything else. Additionally, they are willing to pay more to be the default browsers for ISPs and web clients.

So the aim of this deal is not to combine assets to try to compete algorithmically, they both already do that quite well. This is more for advertisers.. so instead of having Google + many other buckets to put their advertising dollars in, they will essentially have 2. I see this more as a problem for the little guys then Google though.. like AOL, Ask.com, etc...

I doubt it will work (4, Insightful)

Choozy (1260872) | about 5 years ago | (#27537499)

Google is now synomonous with the internet. It would take an amazing search engine to be able to topple Google's power.

Re:I doubt it will work (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27537529)

But what about CUIL [cuil.com]?! They sure spend like they're successful already!

Re:I doubt it will work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27537705)

Cuil search: Miley Cyrus porn [cuil.com]

5th search result from top:

Google, a Web search engine owned by Google, Inc., is the most used search engine on the Web. Google receives several hundred million queries each day through its various services.


... *facepalm*


Re:I doubt it will work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27538785)

Cuil search: Miley Cyrus porn [cuil.com]

5th search result from top: Google

Turn off safe search.

Re:I doubt it will work (4, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | about 5 years ago | (#27537547)

Google is now synomonous with the internet.

Just a quick test: you google something, and nothing comes up. Is your first thought "I need to try another search site" or "I need to check my search terms"?

Re:I doubt it will work (2, Interesting)

Choozy (1260872) | about 5 years ago | (#27537649)

Just a quick test: you google something, and nothing comes up. Is your first thought "I need to try another search site" or "I need to check my search terms"?

I'm not really sure what you are trying to imply. Just the term itself, "you google something" kinda prooves my point. When someone asks a question that you have no idea about, you don't say "I'll yahoo it" or "I'll MS Search it". Google (rightly or wrongly I'm not trying to defend them or say they are the best) are a household name. You know how much some companies pay to be household names?

Re:I doubt it will work (1)

Jurily (900488) | about 5 years ago | (#27537959)

Just the term itself, "you google something" kinda prooves my point.

It was intentional. I meant the act of searching on Google.

Re:I doubt it will work (0, Troll)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | about 5 years ago | (#27537657)

That really depends on what one happens to be searching for. In a lot of cases, yes, it means "I need to try another search engine".

Re:I doubt it will work (1)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | about 5 years ago | (#27537899)

It has never crossed my mind to try another engine when I'm not getting the results I want. I simply try different terms in the Google search. After a while you get a hang of it, and it doesn't happen often.

Re:I doubt it will work (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | about 5 years ago | (#27538413)

Then you must be limiting your searches to only things that Google covers. Trust me, there is an enormous amount of material that Google doesn't archive, and if I can't find it on Google, chances are I'll need to find somewhere else that does archive it. If you believe that it is you who is wrong, rather than Google, you exclude an enormous amount of existing material.

An excellent example of this is message boards, in fact. Try searching for your historical slashdot posts- Google will not find all of them. It tends to pick up a random selection of them at any one time.

Re:I doubt it will work (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | about 5 years ago | (#27538733)

I most certainly have used other search engines, and dones so successfully, especially when I'm thinking of something very particular that comes to very few results (often with exact phrases or when I Google inurl: or site:, though I find Yahoo's advanced query builder quite a bit simpler.

I find Yahoo search and Live search nearly always give me more answers on things that Google has very few of. Now, that obviously has sample bias, because I only go to the other two when Google fails me, so don't draw any broad conclusions about their indexing. But it does mean that Google's search could be better.

And beyond that, even if the algorithm is pristine and the database complete and perfectly up-to-date, I'm not at all convinced that Google has an optimal interface for displaying these results. Or, like I said earlier, for certain types of queries.

Re:I doubt it will work (5, Insightful)

bit01 (644603) | about 5 years ago | (#27538431)

That really depends on what one happens to be searching for. In a lot of cases, yes, it means "I need to try another search engine".

Every now and then I try other search engines just to make sure I'm not missing anything. They always fail because they:

  1. are too slow.
  2. are overloaded with advertising drivel.
  3. don't find what I'm looking for.
  4. find too many things I'm not looking for.
  5. cover a uselessly small domain.
  6. don't allow expressive search expressions.
  7. make elementary interface errors.
  8. confuse trendiness with usefulness.

Sometimes all eight. And lets not forget all the internal search engines such as slashdot's. I've yet to come across even a single one that wasn't designed by people with the IQ's of gerbils.


Any large public or private organisation paying recurring, per-seat licensing for software is being economically stupid.

Re:I doubt it will work (0)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | about 5 years ago | (#27538549)

1) Is also overloaded with advertising
2) Often doesn't find things you are looking for
3) Is notorious for finding crap you aren't looking for
4) Covers a very small domain

Pretty much the only thing it has going for it is simplicity of interface and relative speed.

Re:I doubt it will work (2, Interesting)

tukang (1209392) | about 5 years ago | (#27538023)

I wonder what a Yahoo user might say if you asked them the same question. Maybe people are more likely to use only 1 search engine - it's certainly easier to change your terms than to go to a new website.

Re:I doubt it will work (1)

Jurily (900488) | about 5 years ago | (#27538395)

it's certainly easier to change your terms than to go to a new website.

In Opera and Konqueror switching search engines takes 2 mouse clicks.

Re:I doubt it will work (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about 5 years ago | (#27538829)

That is also true of Firefox and IE, with the "Search Bar"
I have 8 sites I can switch between in that bar right now.

Re:I doubt it will work (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | about 5 years ago | (#27541137)

I have a feeling that, even some LISP etc. genius comes up with a real revolution (like the Google) overnight and change Yahoo, Ask, Live whatever engines to display neural networks/ AI enhanced excellent results, Google's share won't get hurt because people will keep clicking "Google".

That is bad for state of the internet of course, no competition can't be good for anything.

We pay $140 (family license) to OS X upgrades, I got 3 upgrades so far and I have to apply a very deep input manager hack to Safari, the browser I somehow paid for to use another engine rather than Google. MS is not the only monopoly on Planet as you know.

I bitched about Google search result quality on popular terms and I was accused to be a live.com (complete junk btw) spammer, here, on slashdot. Go figure.

Re:I doubt it will work (1)

anonymousNR (1254032) | about 5 years ago | (#27538429)

Google is now synomonous with the internet.

Just a quick test: you google something, and nothing comes up. Is your first thought "I need to try another search site" or "I need to check my search terms"?

That's right many times google maps screwed me taking me to dead ends, from then on i started using mapquest or yahoo maps

Re:I doubt it will work (1)

f33dback (1458941) | about 5 years ago | (#27539209)

I work in Tracking and Tracing for people who owe fines in NZ and my job is essentially using Government companies search, our own Ministry fine system called "Collect", a site called OldFriends and last of all Google. This is a core search where we search the names of people to see if they have a web based presence. If I dont use Google to search for someone, I could get marked down when it comes to them analysing my spreadhseets to see where I have looked. Specifically Google, no other search engine basically. And it's good, I've had alot of hits from it.

Re:I doubt it will work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27537653)

Google toppled DEC's Altavista. The same thing can happen to them.

Re:I doubt it will work (2, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 5 years ago | (#27537741)

Google toppled DEC's Altavista. The same thing can happen to them.

See also: VHS vs. DVD vs. Blu-Ray. Google was much better than AltaVista and people were quick to switch to it. Google isn't perfect, of course, but it's good enough that it'd be hard to make an engine significantly better enough to warrant switching.

Re:I doubt it will work (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 5 years ago | (#27537845)

Google was shit and slowly got better.
People slowly started using it, and slowly switched to it.

Re:I doubt it will work (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 5 years ago | (#27537943)

Oh, I won't claim that it was great on the first day. The important thing is that it got better to the point that people were willing to switch.

Re:I doubt it will work (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 5 years ago | (#27538589)

Google was shit and slowly got better.

Altavista also got worse. Around '96 or '97, AltaVista searches returned lists of mostly broken links because their crawler could not crawl the web fast enough.

Re:I doubt it will work (1)

David Gerard (12369) | about 5 years ago | (#27540625)

Er, what? I used it when it was first getting word of mouth, in 1998. I was shocked how good it was even then.

It may be much better now, but it still kicked arse in a major way the day it was out.

Why MS cant compete effectively (5, Insightful)

Froze (398171) | about 5 years ago | (#27537521)

MS motive: Make money by throwing large amounts of MS branded crap (with some useful stuff) at you and hope your willing to pay to have it cleaned up so you can keep the bits you like.

Google motive: Make money by throwing large amounts of information at you with some of revenue targeted information you may be interested in.

Until MS turns it model around and starts giving people what they want first and then cashing in on that association, they won't beat the trend that Google has going, unless Google turns around and start sending you crap first.

Re:Why MS cant compete effectively (3, Informative)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | about 5 years ago | (#27537921)

Or, a different way to put it: MS has difficulty because they operate under the assumption that end users will like what they produce, while Google is successful producing things that their end users will like. Rather than saying "This is what you should expect the Internet to be like", Google simplifies things and is more customer driven.

The blind are leading the blind... (1)

willyd357 (1293166) | about 5 years ago | (#27537537)

...although, as to which is which, your guess is as good as mine.

Re:The blind are leading the blind... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27539405)

So the first blind walks into a bar and the second one knows to avoid it. Assuming it's a metal bar...

Doing A Microhoo Search On "Developers Developers" (1)

CyberSlammer (1459173) | about 5 years ago | (#27537597)

Turns up "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!!!" as the first result.

Re:Doing A Microhoo Search On "Developers Develope (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | about 5 years ago | (#27537661)

In a Virtual Windows machine, as I got all stock IE etc. for testing, I remember not being able to find "dotnetfx 3.5 download" via live search. Results coming up were trojans. I ended up going to MS downloads site directly, completely in shock.

Another thing. If you even hear live search is great, better and use Safari, Firefox, you won't feel like going there since you will have a feeling that it will work bad for your browser. I guess that is exact reason why MS wants to partner with Yahoo who never created such "phobia".

My recent search with Google (2, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | about 5 years ago | (#27537623)

I bought a new drive namely WD WD1001FALS, as all new drives, I fired up Safari and entered exactly these search terms: WD1001FALS specs

All I had was bunch of clever search optimization geniuses trying to sell me drive and some really annoying google search spammers. I gave up after 5th page and went to Western Digital directly.

Yahoo search gives some market results too but they seem to be legit search results with known reviewers like PC World. Perhaps Google has become so big that it started to hurt them seriously? I guess everyone out there tries to hack their results and become somewhat successful. There is no mechanism to easily tell Google that they are spammers too. Don't even bother telling me about feedback form.

I had another experience where searching for Avast Antivirus (which is extremely popular freeware) on Windows ended up with actual virus/trojan results while Yahoo search gives better results, at least no malware (they got some scanner in search). It really bugged me because it was a completely unprotected Windows fresh installation. Imagine some newbie actually trusting those results.

Re:My recent search with Google (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 years ago | (#27537939)

When I tried it (also in Safari) the first link was the Western Digital page [wdc.com] on the HD...

Re:My recent search with Google (2, Informative)

macshit (157376) | about 5 years ago | (#27538385)

Yup, me too -- exact same search terms, and the first link on google is precisely what the grandparent says he wanted.

It's a bit mystifying really; I regularly see claims in slashdot comments about how awful google is these days, and yet this bears absolutely no resemblance to my own experience -- for me, google's results are extremely good, perhaps even better now than in the past (and certainly leagues ahead of crap like MSN live search).

I'm not sure how to reconcile this ... some possibilities come to mind:

  1. I'm simply better at picking search terms than these other people (but what about cases like the current one, where I get perfect results using exactly the same search terms?)
  2. Google's great for what I search for (mostly technical subjects), but not so much for what these other people search for (perhaps more ... "contested" subjects like pr0n?) -- but again, that doesn't apply to the current example
  3. Google tracks what I search for and somehow adapts better for me (I dunno if this is true, and anyway, I seem to see equally good performance when searching in internet cafes etc)
  4. Google does geolocation and somehow gives better results for my location than theirs (they probably do know where I am, but it seems a bit far-fetched to explain the differences)
  5. The people claiming google sucks are just MS/spam-king shills trying to spread a bit of FUD...

[Anyone have better ideas?]

Re:My recent search with Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27539977)

Agreed to point 4. Google seems to put a lot of results in your non-English language on the first page, most of them are not as good as the English results on the following pages.
I always disable localized search, and just add the TLD to the search terms, or use a couple of words spelled in my local language if I want local results.

Re:My recent search with Google (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 5 years ago | (#27540517)

Google does geolocation and somehow gives better results for my location than theirs (they probably do know where I am, but it seems a bit far-fetched to explain the differences)

Among other things, Google by defaults redirects to the "localized" domain. E.g. if you go to google.com from a Canadian IP, you'll end up at google.ca. And search results between them actually do differ, sometimes quite a lot.

Re:My recent search with Google (1)

gordguide (307383) | about 5 years ago | (#27543685)

No they don't.

I am clearly on a Canadian IP, yet I have to specifically enter Google dot ca to go to the local site; even then, it defaults to "Search Entire Web" which is exactly the same results as Google dot com. To get the localized links (in all Google's localized incarnations) you have to click "search pages from Canada" and that's a non-sticky option.

This behaviour is consistent over 3 incompatible OS's and multiple machines from multiple ISPs. I don't, however, use IE on any of them, including the Windows XP Pro one.

I would expect that some app (probably the browser) on your system is reading your OS-wide localization settings, and doing the redirect "for you". It's definitely not Google.

Re:My recent search with Google (1)

David Gerard (12369) | about 5 years ago | (#27540633)

It's called astroturfing. It's cheaper to pay pennies to people to troll message boards than it is to actually fix Windows Live Search, I mean "Kumo".

Re:My recent search with Google (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | about 5 years ago | (#27541111)

You mean my message is astroturfing? There is no way that one can be questioning Google search quality? Also yes, search results are really changing, it is not 1998, everyone doesn't get same search results.

I personally see 4-6 search engine spammers. I don't even get into the deep hacks required to make my default OS X browser (Safari) change to another search engine as a person who keeps paying to each OS X major upgrade.

You have some real stuff going on there accusing slashdot users as Bangalore spammers. Next time I get a similar accusation, I will report you to slashdot admins FYI. It shouldn't be that cheap.

Re:My recent search with Google (1)

njahnke (757694) | about 5 years ago | (#27542387)

are you signed in to your gmail account - or to some other google service in that internet cafe? if so then google is customizing your search results. i always get results i clicked on before as top hits for my searches due to being signed in to gmail all the time.

Re:My recent search with Google (3, Informative)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 5 years ago | (#27538177)

When I punched your search terms into Google, the first result I get back is the wdc.com (Western Digital's site) page for that model of drive. Second result is a questionable tech site, third result is a PCWorld review of the drive. I suspect the problem is on your end, not Google's.

Re:My recent search with Google (1)

apoc.famine (621563) | about 5 years ago | (#27541363)

Potentially there's some sort of trojan/DNS hacking going on there. My sister just ran into this, where her ISP's DNS server seemed to have been hijacked, and all her google search results were ad links. A switch to the OpenDNS server fixed that, and a couple of sweeps of her computer came up with nothing.
There are also a few trojans which will modify the hosts file, to point to a google-lookalike page, where every query comes up ads.

Re:My recent search with Google (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | about 5 years ago | (#27541821)

In fact, I use OpenDNS down to DSL Modem's level. It is not DNS or even some spyware, it is Google's management is horrible in certain areas of World and there is no way to easily report search result hackers.

There is a huge industry to make your site appear on top of other results.

They sure have the technology and knowledge to make users report spammy results but somehow, they don't care to code into it. If I logon to my Google account and search same terms, results are somehow better thanks to my profiling I guess but it is completely wrong if you ask me. To have account for better results. It also shows how dynamic results are.

I know the DNS hijack issues and it is somehow getting really serious on OS X scene with the users rejecting the possibility of such thing happening on Mac. In fact, the only up and running trojan on OS X actually attacks DNS entries. (that is why I made them unwritable via permissions)

Re:My recent search with Google (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 5 years ago | (#27544029)

Possible. One difference: I use Firefox, not IE. All the people I know of who get weird results from Google have one thing in common: they use IE. Not everybody using IE gets bad results, but the bad results seem confined to the one browser on the market with the absolute worst track record for security. It's possible that some malware infiltrates IE and redirects searches or messes with the search terms behind the scenes.

Re:My recent search with Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27539311)

Checking for "WD1001FALS specs" (no quotes), Google comes up with the WD page for the HDD, followed by review sites.

Checking for "Avast Antivirus" (no quotes), Google links me to the Avast page, followed by tech advice sites also referring to the Avast page or giving me mirrors for the download. May I also point out Google has a similar "dangerous site" filter that works just as well as Yahoo's?

Re:My recent search with Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27541379)

There is no mechanism to easily tell Google that they are spammers too.

Sometimes (it seems random) I get buttons next to the results in Google to mod the results.


Re:My recent search with Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27542785)

You searched for the exact name of the product and you got...ways to buy the product. And you complain.

Reading on, you say that Yahoo!'s results included reviews, and for some reason, this was a good thing for you even though you had already purchased the product.

Perhaps you meant to search for the product's name and the word "manual". Maybe, since you went to Western Digital in the end, you should have searched for "support" or "Western Digital" (actually, that's a good question: how exactly did you get to the Western Digital website? did you copy the URL from somewhere? Did you guess the URL? Or did you, finding yourself already on Google, just Google it?)

Google's good, but it's not fair to fault it when you don't know what you're searching for, or when your search terms really don't provide any relevant information. Google's good, but it can't telephathically overcome your stupidity. (well, sometimes maybe)

To paraphrase Dale Dribble (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 5 years ago | (#27537685)

"This [search] is the feces that is produced when shame eats too much stupidity."

Seriously, MS isn't about to make Yahoo! their default search over MSN. Yahoo isn't about to cede traffic over to MSN, even indirectly by lending their search backend to make MSN not suck as much. And along those lines, MSN is so terrible that 95% of people go out of their way ignore it [hitslink.com] even though it is the default in IE.

Re:To paraphrase Dale Dribble (2, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | about 5 years ago | (#27537755)

Microsoft already bought a better search engine (as in engine, not as in implementation) last year -- FAST.
They're not after the Yahoo search engine, they are after the user base.

Re:To paraphrase Dale Dribble (0, Flamebait)

Bert690 (540293) | about 5 years ago | (#27538539)

FAST ?! You mean that company that was a front for a bunch of norwegian scammers that tricked MS into buying it? Also known as the "Enron of Norway"? Surely you jest.

I've seen the future of Search, and it's name is (3, Interesting)

rinkjustice (24156) | about 5 years ago | (#27537781)


Twitter provides realtime search. It shows intent [twitter.com] realtime. It shows trends [tinyurl.com]. It's faster than the news media and blogs [mashable.com], and, with a 140 character limit, it cuts to the chase. And it's growing like crazy [comscore.com].

MS and / or Yahoo should be looking at Twitter seriously. It's the real deal.

Re:I've seen the future of Search, and it's name i (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 5 years ago | (#27538333)

MS and / or Yahoo should be looking at Twitter seriously. It's the real deal.

You're on the right track, but why should Microsoft or Yahoo buy Twitter while both of them have their instant messengers? Add a little paragraph to their EULA saying that all user content belongs to them(if they haven't already, and most people will just click through it anyway) and they have the equivalent of a million Twitters' user data and conversations to strip-mine to their heart's content!

Consolidation of both userbases would be the only thing out of a merger which would make sense!

Re:I've seen the future of Search, and it's name i (2, Interesting)

rinkjustice (24156) | about 5 years ago | (#27538473)

Clever idea. But it's not Twitter.

While there are many mimickers on the scene (Plurk and Yapp come immediately to mind), Twitter seems to have reached critical mass - the Bandwagon effect so to speak. Everyone is on it, and if you're not, you're a crusty, cantankerous old person (no matter what age you really are). Big brands and small businesses are leveraging Twitter as a cost effective social media tool. News media like CNN are amassing huge followings. Pre-teens are on it. It has a more dynamic interface than instant messengers as well (heck, Facebook copied it).

And of course, the Twitter API is open source, so you're seeing funky new apps, hacks and features appear every day.

Google is king of search, but Twitter owns realtime search, and that's where the future is headed. It's what people want.

Re:I've seen the future of Search, and it's name i (2, Informative)

wisty (1335733) | about 5 years ago | (#27538381)

Twitter search will only be good while the spammers stay off. Which means it can never be too popular.

Re:I've seen the future of Search, and it's name i (1)

bigngamer92 (1418559) | about 5 years ago | (#27538451)

Sorry but I want to find out about the use of dry erase markers on laminated material.

Google Returned a semi useful article [ergoindemand.com] that I could actually gleam some info from.

Twitter on the other hand returned no results. Even after simplifying my terms to "drawing on laminated material" I still didn't find anything. Twitter is just another fad for the hive minders.

PS: Does anyone know of what type of material I can use dry erase markers on? I was looking at laminate and foam board as the white boards are too heavy for my purposes.

Ya gotta love the hypocrisy (3, Interesting)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | about 5 years ago | (#27537863)

When Google were sniffing around Yahoo, Microsoft complained that a monopoly (in online advertising) was "a bad deal for the consumer". They then release the lobbying hounds to Washington and ensure that any deal is blocked as "anti-competitive". Like most sane people, I agree with them that monopolies are bad for the consumer. Considering their own monopolies on desktop OS's people can buy in stores, and office suites I'd love the same tools to be turned back on Microsoft now. I'd love Google to lobby Washington with the exact same argument Microsoft used. Having said that, politicians decisions are more to do with who is bought than any rightness of a cause.

I'd love to see Microsoft waste money on yet another falling star, try to get market share by acquisition rather than providing a product / service people actually want. Business as usual really. This time round they may not want all of Yahoo, but only cherry pick parts of it. The part that I'd draw attention to is Zimbra. We all know how Microsoft love competition to their flagship earners, so any Yahoo deal will involve the destruction of Zimbra as we know it. Does anyone know offhand how well placed Zimbra is license wise to fork if / when the hammer of Redmond strikes?

To be fair, Yahoo's search engine is good. (3, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | about 5 years ago | (#27537919)

It's only very slightly worse than Google, nowadays. Microsoft's, on the other hand, is still crap on a stick, and it's not worth spending time talking about.

So, returning to Yahoo: at this point, what Yahoo needs is a better image, as the search engine itself, in its core, is fine. And to improve their image, Yahoo might want to tone down the "noise" that their site seems to throw at the users. Also, Yahoo should do a real effort to actually unify all those services inside of "My Yahoo". As it is now, "My Yahoo" is utterly useless, and the various Yahoo services seem to be kept together with spit or nothing. MOstly nothing.

For an example of the "Yahoo noise" I was talking about, just see Yahoo Messenger. I hate that shit with passion (but am forced to use it 'cause my GF likes it, and is convinced that the "connection is better than with Skype").

That said, Yahoo services are less "noisy" than Hotmail and the resto of MSN.

Re:To be fair, Yahoo's search engine is good. (1)

rinkjustice (24156) | about 5 years ago | (#27538117)

Totally agree. Yahoo's front page has to go, and they need to bring their awesome properties like delicious, Yahoo pipes and flickr to the forefront. That's where the coolness is.

Re:To be fair, Yahoo's search engine is good. (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | about 5 years ago | (#27540383)

Good point Yahoos engine nowadays is excellent, but they lost to Google the same way Altavista was pushed into oblivion.

In other words, stop throwing crap at people who do only want to do a websearch. Altavista lost because their site was full of unrelated advertising crap and their search results suddenly reflected how much money a customer wanted to pay for being ranked high.

Yahoo looses because it throws too much crap at people while they simply want a search field and results!

The funny thing is, yahoo does so many things on the ajax side which are clearly way above anything else, that it would be a shame if they went under. The UI set is so much better than anything from any other library, the compression engine has become defacto standard etc...

They simply do not get it how their core business should work while google has shown it to them for almost a decade now!

Hint to Yahoo their is no market in portals if you want to be in the search engine business, people do not want to see crap if they just want to search!

Also think about trying to get a cooperation with Mozilla now the climate between Mozilla and google has cooled off. There are parts of the world where Mozilla is already the dominant browser!

Re:To be fair, Yahoo's search engine is good. (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about 5 years ago | (#27540933)

I agree that Yahoo should clean up and just offer search results when people ask for that. I do think they still can be a portal, if they keep it simple and well-integrated, rather than forcing their users to search for bits and pieces of Yahoo, in a sea of shit they don't need (I'd like to have access to yahoo groups and calendar, and perhaps an easy way to add babelfish - but no, you can't have that! But here's the weather in bananaland, for the next 7 days, that'll be something I need, surely.)

Also, I agree that Yahoo should think about courting Firefox, now that Google has interest in their (excellent, imho) Chrome, but keep in mind that Google is still funding Mozilla to the tune of tens of millions of $, and it's uestionable whether Yahoo can outbid them, or whether Yahoo would get a return on their investment (that would, as I said, have to be significantly enough larger than Google's), especially now that Firefox 3 is looking quite a bit crappier than 2 used to be.

Politically incorrect view... (2, Insightful)

retech (1228598) | about 5 years ago | (#27538111)

It would appear, to me, this is similar to the class bully and that kid who should be on the short bus getting together in an effort to win the science fair competition.

While it works in 80's movies with a mediocre soundtrack for the montage scene, I'm at a loss as to how John Hughes would resolve this in the final act.

the answer is innovation (2, Interesting)

submain (856941) | about 5 years ago | (#27538147)

IMHO, the mistake of both Microsoft and Yahoo is to think that this is merely a war for market share, and that they can win by simply duplicating whatever google does.

In fact, this is more of an innovation war: users won't switch to whatever microsoft/yahoo partnership offers unless it does something that people find useful AND that google has not implemented yet.

M$ should secure their OS first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27538219)

... before looking into other markets in which they can do a half-arsed job and ultimately fail.

Yahoo essentially have been failing at everything for a decade or more

A waste of money. (1)

Tolkien (664315) | about 5 years ago | (#27538643)

I can understand why this would happen, it's still stupid though. Microsoft's search is an abortion of technology and Yahoo is a Search Directory, how they intend on improving their search tech with a directory site I don't know, but it's guaranteed to be a failed attempt. Hell, I used to run a directory site when I was a teenager (one site even requested to be added to it)! It was nothing more than page after page of lists of links, much like Yahoo was when they first started out. The only difference is that they also had a search box while mine didn't.

Re:A waste of money. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27540313)

Yahoo is a Search Directory

Before you go spouting off check your facts. Yahoo! Search is a SEARCH ENGINE:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahoo_search [wikipedia.org]

You're ignorance denigrates the hard work of thousands of people. Get your shit straight.

agressive takeover... (1)

purpleraison (1042004) | about 5 years ago | (#27538721)

Ok, so what is surprising about this? Microsoft had an active hand in ousting the Yahoo CEO, and a 'partnership' is news?

It's more like the Borg.... 'you WILL be assimilated, resistance is futile.'

I never understood this... (2, Interesting)

gentlemen_loser (817960) | about 5 years ago | (#27539551)

'Although there is no suggestion that Microsoft's failed bid will be resurrected, the two companies are believed to be discussing ways they can link up to combat the growing power of their chief rival, Google.

"Their" chief rival... Really? Microsoft is primarily an OS/Office suite vendor. If you had to define the essence of their core business model - that's it. I never understood why Microsoft has singled out Google as an enemy that has to be defeated, as opposed to someone to collaborate with. Yahoo, well, that makes perfect sense - Google has been beating the pants off of them for years. However, Microsoft's shareholders would be better served if they focused on making OS and productivity software that does not suck, as opposed to spending millions of dollars indexing and storing data to make an inferior product to dump more marketing dollars on to compete with a company operating in a different market segment. Why go through all that effort to reinvent the wheel?

It sure must be nice for Ballmer to have a stockpile of money worthy of Scrooge McDuck to piss away on pet projects...

Re:I never understood this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27542847)

In case you hadn't noticed, Google is building toward a world where there is a Microsoft alternative for desktop corporate users. Google Docs? Gmail? Microsoft continues to exist in all markets because they have a stranglehold on corporate, and those users go home and want to use the same setup rather than learn something new. Microsoft has a stranglehold on corporate for a cuple reasons:

- They offer most products a company needs and, in theory, they work very well together.
- They are a large, trusted company. ("No one ever got fired for choosing Microsoft")

Google already is large and trusted. Once they offer the right combination of products, corporations will be able to choose a Google-based setup for their ordinary desktop users. Does the secretary need more than a (Google) office suite and (Google) email?

It hasn't happened yet at your company, but this really is starting to happen. Small school districts are changing to Google, usually for budgetary reasons to try to avoid MS licenses. Small companies are embracing Google tools, too. Even if it doesn't completely throw Microsoft, it's definitely enough to cut into their market share and weaken their network effects.

Only Ignorance (1)

DrugCheese (266151) | about 5 years ago | (#27539591)

The only people I've ever known to use yahoo or msn where people who didn't know about googles existence.

Failure Twin powers activate! (1)

TOGSolid (1412915) | about 5 years ago | (#27540251)

Why are computer business people so brilliant yet so retarded at the same time? Trying to topple Google is like trying to topple World of Warcraft. It's just not going to happen unless the company does something suicidal with their product. The best way to 'compete' against monolithic things like that isn't about direct competition but instead about offering something different.

Microsoft should be worried about something else (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | about 5 years ago | (#27540359)

Ok given my site is programmers centric, but the IE rate fell below 17% on this site absolute.
Programmers usually are 2 years in front of the general public. As it seems they should give up trying to pull crap with IE (even with IE8 they tried to pull crap saying ACID3 is not standards while it clearly is, there is no HTML5 in ACID3 and then scoring measly 17% while even Fox3 scored around 70%)

They have lost the web programmers in the mindshare clearly and as it seems even in the general public Mozilla has surpassed them in absolute numbers on non programmers sites recently (with numbers similar to the programmers ones two years ago)

So in other words, if they loose the HTML dominance they have lost any foot to gain ground in the search engine area entirely. Which I personally see as a positive thing!

So in other words, the tricks Microsoft pulled in the past with IE6+ are backfiring now heavily, they simply screwed too many developers over!
And they have lost them forever, those people are not forgiving years of pain of having to support their crapware as well while trying to support the rest of the world with standards!

Lose the developers lose the web how hard is that to grasp? Probably hard enough because they did not get it while monkey boy was screaming developers developers developers...
And they still have not gotten it!

Microsoft still seeking search deal with Yahoo! (2, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | about 5 years ago | (#27540607)

As Microsoft's search engine share sunk to its lowest level yet in February, with approximately 8 to 9 queries total worldwide [today.com], Steve Ballmer has reiterated his willingness to hook up with Yahoo! and its 21 queries worldwide.

The press conference was held on a street corner in San Francisco as Mr Ballmer and Jerry Yang sat with their hats on the sidewalk and playing harmonicas with a "WILL WEBSEARCH FOR FOOD" sign behind them.

"Understandably, we expect less activity in the Great Recession," said Mr Ballmer. "Nobody knows what value assets should be ... say, you aren't finished with that cigarette, are you?"

Press attendees included a schizophrenic local resident in a tinfoil hat ("to keep Google out"), two teenagers drunk on malt liquor and a policeman keeping an eye on things from a distance. The teenagers taunted, confused and upset Mr Ballmer by suggesting he attempt to locate his own posterior.

"My new search technology is unstoppable! Just look at this netbook!" shouted Mr Ballmer, waving an Etch-a-Sketch in a threatening manner. "IT'S MAUVE! IT RUNS WINDOWS SEVEN! LINUX PUT A RADIO IN MY HEAD! I'LL SHOW 'EM ALL! BASTARDS!"

"Some love stories are eternal," said Mr Yang. "Romeo and Juliet. Heloise and Abelard. Leopold and Loeb. Microsoft and Yahoo."

Know your damn Role... (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 5 years ago | (#27540753)

Microsoft getting into the search engine business is like trying to get GM to partner with Ferrari.

There's money to be made elsewhere, and MS, you seem to have been doing a pretty damn good job of it. You already conquer the Office suite market in the corporate world, and you act like you're sitting here scratching your head as to what to bring to the cloud through your own portal? Give me a break. I think people could probably remember how to get to mycloud.microsoft.com without having to search for it.

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