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Microsoft Works on Search Capabilities

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the here-comes-clippy dept.

Microsoft 480

bl8n8r writes "Microsoft is betting millions that someday it will be as well known for search as Google is. Some of its efforts to simplify search on the Internet will soon be in place. The new version of Microsoft's MSN Internet service, available this winter, will include a tool for retrieving digital photos based on images in the pictures. For example, users can ask their computers to retrieve all pictures that include a specific person's face or background."

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480 comments

My Mac sucks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006136)

I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Mac fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Mac (a 8600/300 w/64 Megs of RAM) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my Pentium Pro 200 running NT 4, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Mac, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

In addition, during this file transfer, Netscape will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even Safari is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various Macs, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a Mac that has run faster than its Wintel counterpart, despite the Macs' faster chip architecture. My 486/66 with 8 megs of ram runs faster than this 300 mhz machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that the Macintosh is a superior machine.

Mac addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Mac over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.

Re:My Mac sucks (0, Offtopic)

duck_oil (645053) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006204)

And how is this relevent?

Re:My Mac sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006380)

Your get a frost pist only to cut & paste this old junk? Its as stale as the GNAA. SHAME!

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006139)

FP

uh right... (-1, Flamebait)

beyonddeath (592751) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006141)

Like microsoft could ever make that work! ... i mean they have a hard enough time makeing internet explorer... let alone searching for content in pictures!

Re:uh right... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006175)

That would be cool though. I've often found a cute girl in porn and it would be nice to search the web for all other free pictures of her.

Re:uh right... (1, Insightful)

Brahmastra (685988) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006186)

Internet Explorer won because Netscape sucked. While IE may have holes, the interface and the feel is far superior than anything else out there

Re:uh right... (4, Insightful)

CrackHappy (625183) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006239)

Bull crap. Take a look at Mozilla! It's MUCH better than IE hands down. The fact that you have COMPLETE control over your browsing experience is just one plus. The fact that the browser does pop-up blocking all on it's own is just one great example.

Not only that, but you can even go further and get some Mozilla based browsers for Linux (and other systems?) like Konqueror or Gnome's browser (damnit, can't remember the freakin name).

Re:uh right... (1)

mrscorpio (265337) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006391)

Epiphany, and/or Galeon.

Chris

Re:uh right... (0)

ImNotThatSmart (705646) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006242)

i disagree. IE is nice if you like the media player being attached to it. but one of my biggest pet peeves is multiple windows. I like how netscape added the "tab" feature in 7.0 where i can see multiple sites w/ just one window.

Re:uh right... (1)

reboot_imminent (448432) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006285)

or it could be that most people didn't care (or know) enough to spend hours downloading a different browser when M$ was already kind enough to provide one with just about everything it sold

Re:uh right... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006347)

Just because you Linux idiots don't like IE doesn't make this opinion a troll

Re:uh right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006199)

ROFLOORLOROLROLOLOLOROFL

u r teh funnie!!!

BSOD!!! LOLOLOLOL

Join the SHAE (-1)

Suicide Bomberman (679592) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006144)

The S.H.A.E. is an up and coming organisation that gathers straight honkeys from around the world for one common purpose: Complaining about Gay Niggers!

Are you straight [godhatesfags.com] ?
Are you a honkey? [rotten.com] Are you a Straight honkey? [rotten.com]

If tha answer to any of the above questions is yes, then the Straight Honkeys Association of Europe could be just what you're looking for! Become a member today! All you have to do is

1. Write and post an SHAE first post
2. Post a diparaging reply to one of the GNAA's posts 3. Write a journal entry about being a straight honkey

You will then be a full-fledged member of the SHAE. And remember, God doesn't hate them because they're fags, they're fags because God hates them!

Re:Join the SHAE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006216)

Ah, fuck. I posted the wrong link.

Pics (0, Funny)

Nerdimus_Maximus (690239) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006145)

Give me all pics of CowboyNeal in a van down by the river.

"Developing technologies" (1, Funny)

r_glen (679664) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006155)

It is developing search-related technologies to do everything from sorting through digital photos to combing through items scattered on your desktop computers.

In other words, the Windows 'search' feature?

Image search bots? (5, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006159)

The new version of Microsoft's MSN Internet service, available this winter, will include a tool for retrieving digital photos based on images in the pictures

Hmmm. Interesting. I have seen a number of new MS bots trolling all over our lab site for the past two months grabbing every image they can.

Re:Image search bots? (5, Funny)

Rojo^ (78973) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006230)

Sorry about that. Someone told me your site had some good porn.

-- B. Gates

are we supposed to take this seriously? (3, Funny)

wawannem (591061) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006161)

I mean really, it seems like everytime M$ comes out with something new, they tell us it will be the second coming of Christ. C#, .NET, etc. I mean, when are we gonna learn that M$ touting a new technology as the best thing ever isn't newsworthy.

Re:are we supposed to take this seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006267)

These guys want to put their grubby fingerprints on everything they see. They just don't get it. Microsoft can take a dead-cinch lock and bollox it all up. Remeber when Hotmail was actually useful instead of a spam and virus breeding ground?

Lovely. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006162)


user: Okay.. search for that Kubrick movie 'Lolita'..

WebClippy: It appears you are searching for kiddie pr0n.
Here are some suggestions:

[ ] Send an automated confession to the FBI

[ ] Format your hard drive

[ ] All of the above

Re:Lovely. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006288)

My name is Lolita Rodriguez you insensitive clod! How can people suppose to find my webpage out of the web?

I doubt this happens (5, Insightful)

sixteenraisins (67316) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006170)

If you've ever visited the MSN portal more than a handful of times in a two-week period, you'd know that:

(1) The search capabilities are horrible; Google is much better.

(2) The "news" story titles are misleading and the stories are frequently repeated over the course of a week; Yahoo! is much better.

Once upon a time, businesses recognized their core competencies and did what they do best, and let other companies handle the things that those companies are good at. Once again, Microsoft chooses not to apply this conventional wisdom to their MSN portal

Remember Microsoft Bob?

William

Re:I doubt this happens (1)

jbottero (585319) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006307)

The search capabilities are horrible; Google is much better...

It's easy to just rattle off the standard anti-M$ line (and get "insightful"), few people here would require you back it up with (gasp) facts. So, can you be more SPACIFIC? Exactly *how* is the MSN search flaky?

Please quit your sputtering.

Re:I doubt this happens (3, Funny)

TerryAtWork (598364) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006314)

yes but always remember MS *ALWAYS* starts out sucky and then gets less sucky forever.

Re:I doubt this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006343)

(2) The "news" story titles are misleading and the stories are frequently repeated over the course of a week; Yahoo! is much better.


I'm sure you'll find Google News [google.com] to be an even much better news service.

Re:I doubt this happens (5, Funny)

julesh (229690) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006364)

(2) The "news" story titles are misleading and the stories are frequently repeated over the course of a week;

Now where have I seen this before? Hmmm...

Whoa! (1)

samwisefoxburr (708388) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006172)

The new version of Microsoft's MSN Internet service, available this winter, will include a tool for retrieving digital photos based on images in the pictures. For example, users can ask their computers to retrieve all pictures that include a specific person's face or background.

I've been wanting something like that for a LONG time!

Re:Whoa! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006247)

I've been wanting something like that for a LONG time!

Yeah, baby! Now, I can *really* get to the hot pr0n!

MSN Image Search: puffy nipples
MSN Image Search: big butts
MSN Image Search: goatse guy

I can't wait! Until then, I guess I'll have to make do with the next best thing [autopr0n.com] .

Search on msdn.microsoft.com (5, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006173)

Microsoft? Search experts?

Has anybody here used the awful search interface they put up on MSDN a couple of months ago? Its hideous. It takes twice as long to find anything as its predecessor did. Googling with site:msdn.microsoft.com is often the only way of finding some documents (I had to do that to find out any information on programming NT Services without using .NET...)

Searching for a name of one of their programs ("dr watson") doesn't turn up any information on it in the knowledge base. You have to search for 'drwtsn32' to get anywhere, despite the full name of the program being mentioned in the articles about it.

Yeah, great search interface. Really inspires my confidence.

Re:Search on msdn.microsoft.com (1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006201)


Googling with site:msdn.microsoft.com

Rumor is that MS will be using robots.txt to prevent Google (their perceived competitor) from indexing MS sites. You'll have no choice but to use their MS search engine in the future.

Re:Search on msdn.microsoft.com (5, Interesting)

JVert (578547) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006328)

If this happens I will personally spider their msdn and rehost it so google can index.

Frankly I need to get work done and I'm not interested in helping beta testing a microsoft search engine when google already works great.

Who's rumor? Yours? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006337)

Sure. Ease back on the wheat grass juice, cowboy.

Re:Search on msdn.microsoft.com (1)

SlashDread (38969) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006351)

Use google, it will find more stuff on the MS pages, then MS search on the MS sites. /Dread

Re:Search on msdn.microsoft.com (1)

harumscarum (675595) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006400)

I agree that msdn search is horrible. Search on something simple like "TSQL reference" and you have to weed through results to find it. I always do my msdn searches on google too.

Sample of their wonderful search (5, Funny)

Enrique G (606211) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006177)

Yes, Microsoft will compete with Google someday. This shows their on the right track: We Can't find orselves! [msn.com]

Re:Sample of their wonderful search (4, Funny)

julesh (229690) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006291)

Good link. But I think this one's better:

Something else MSN can't find... [msn.com]

Fun with search.msn.com errors (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006393)

Re:Sample of their wonderful search (2, Funny)

Lecutis (709067) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006398)

You know, ever since the Big Guy [msn.com] left, they haven't been doing so well...

My karma sucks so bad if you are seeing this then the rest of us were pulled up in the rapture.

MSN vs Google (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006179)

as well known for search as Google is

It already is, though the quality of its reputation is far behind.

"Do you know Google?"
"Yeah, it's great."

"Do you know MSN?"
"Yeah, that piece of crap?"

Rich Uncle Pennybags (0, Troll)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006180)

It won't be easy to shove [google and yahoo] aside

Shouldn't be too difficult with an unfair monopoly on the computer market.

I'll keep that info to myself, thanks... (3, Insightful)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006181)

But he said better personalization is one way to improve searching. For example, if MSN knows that the computer user searching for "pizza" lives in a specific ZIP code, it can deliver results of pizza places in that ZIP code.

That's exactly why I *won't* want to use this new search engine. If I want to find pizza places in my zip code, I'll do it myself [pizzahut.com] , thank you.

Crap, if I wanted internet that logged into me, I'd already have it [xent.com] .

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Troll)

Sirch (82595) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006272)

... engines search for YOU!

Sorry.

Why OS share really won't help MS beat Google (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006183)

It's extremely easy to change your search engine. Changing your OS, your office suite, and even your browser, require a lot more effort for normal users. This creates MS's lock-in. But changing your search engine is as easy as typing in a new address (and Google's toolbar makes it even easier for users).

We've already seen a number of big fluctuations in search engine popularity in the short history of the internet. It's not a matter of what MS does as much as it is a matter of what Google does. If Google keeps their search reliability high, and keeps users happy, few won't feel any need to switch from something they're already comfortable with.

A giant leap forward for porn! (5, Funny)

McVeigh (145742) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006185)

For example, users can ask their computers to retrieve all pictures that include a specific person's face or background.

think of time saved in searching for porn!!

Re:A giant leap forward for porn! (1)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006327)

think of time saved in searching for porn!!

I really want to see how you can find what you want if they limit themselves to faces and backgrounds, maybe they should add a body parts category or something :)

Great. (1)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006192)

Microsoft is betting millions that someday it will be as well known for search as Google is.

(golf clap)

Millions, eh? For Microsoft that's, what, the cost of a month's worth of the tonnes of live pigs they feed Balmer (it's true! I swear!).

Anyhow, this is a Good Thing. Given that this is a situation where Microsoft can't strangle Google with it's OS dominance (at least, not in any way I can think of), more competition > less competition.

For image searching GNU has The GIFT (4, Interesting)

capedgirardeau (531367) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006194)

GNU has a very nifty system for searching image content now or "Content Based Image Retrieval System (CBIRS)" as they call it.

It works much better than I expected.

I wish I was skilled enough to help out with the project because I think it will become important in the future and now that MS is after the same sort of application you can image what will happen.

The GIFT (the GNU Image-Finding Tool) [gnu.org]

Re:For image searching GNU has The GIFT (1)

ananke (8417) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006348)

i thought i had a dyslexia. i read that as 'CRIBS' ...

Retrieve Digital Photos... (-1)

NakedChick (699757) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006200)

I wonder if Microsoft plans on perusing patents this time. It seems like Google already has prior art on that particular feature [google.com] . But what would I know? I'm just a naked chick [google.com] .

ob Austin Power's quote: (1)

Prince_Ali (614163) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006202)

Bill Gates: Why make billions when you can make... millions!

Snake Eyes (0)

ImNotThatSmart (705646) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006208)

Microsoft is betting millions that someday it will be as well known for search as Google is.
Once again, MSFT is betting millions on Crap(s).

GIFT (2, Informative)

malus (6786) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006209)

doesn't GIFT do the same thing?? .. thing being: search images?

http://viper.unige.ch/demo/

MS search won't work (4, Interesting)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006213)

and I will tell you why: This is one of the few fields where quality matters over quantity. The average user, when searching google, wants decent results, not corporate sponsored bullshit.

You will note the fall of yahoo as an material example.

Want an example? Go type "linux" into the msn search engine. I'll wait. Now, compare those results with those garnered from google.

Re:MS search won't work (1)

frkiii (691845) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006389)

I just searched msn.com for Linux.

Was surprised to find a large number of listings.

First couple at the top of "common searches" showed Linux Operating System, Linux Red Hat and two others.

Even down the page a bit was link to Red Hat's site plus Linuxjournal, and a few other popular Linux related sites.

I was actually surprised I got what I got, much more than I expected.

Of course, all I expected was one link with Microsoft's TCO comparison between Windows and Linux.

Is Microsoft slippling?

Regards,

Fredrick

Interesting ideas.. (1)

WeblionX (675030) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006215)

"For example, users can ask their computers to retrieve all pictures that include a specific person's face or background."

While it may not be a widely used feature, I can see that having several advantages. The only uses I can think of right now would be searching for symbols (For example, an ancient language), or an artists signature.

Yeah, sure (1)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006219)

"If you have to struggle through looking for things in hundreds of different places, it's just going to be intolerable," said Susan Dumais, a Microsoft senior researcher ...

Yeah, that's just terrible to expect people to go to some kind of effort to find information. Hey Einstein: that's why it's called "research". If you want to find information, you're always going to have to do some work.

The new version of Microsoft's MSN Internet service, available this winter, will include a tool for retrieving digital photos based on images in the pictures. For example, users can ask their computers to retrieve all pictures that include a specific person's face or background.

I'm guessing that the article author really screwed up something here. I can't imagine any kind of software that is going to automagically determine the identity of people in the background of a picture. Does anyone know what the hell this search engine really does?

GMD

Re:Yeah, sure (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006330)

Face recognition software, dude! It's worked wonders in Tampa! The technology is so staggeringly sucessful that it's being implemented everywhere.

I hear MS is calling it "Vaporsearch".

Re:Yeah, sure (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006349)

I'm guessing that the article author really screwed up something here. I can't imagine any kind of software that is going to automagically determine the identity of people in the background of a picture. Does anyone know what the hell this search engine really does?

My guess is that they're using the new MPEG-7 [fraunhofer.de] standard, which includes metatags to describe what's in the image, movie, or audio clip. These are user-entered metatags, so your quality of search may vary.

Incidentally, MPEG-7 was finalized more than two years ago. This is just one of the first real uses of it.

-T

That's nice, but... (4, Insightful)

mopslik (688435) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006221)

..."to google" is a much nicer verb than "to MSN".

Re:That's nice, but... (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006339)

"to google" is a much nicer verb than "to MSN".

Actually, both are very accurate!

"I Googled some results for you" implies that you found some results from a large number (a googol [googol.com] ) of sites.

"I MiSiN'd but I couldn't find anything" correctly implies that you had no luck at all, as all the good sites were "missin'" from the index.

Never underestimate the M$ marketroids!

Search is a trust issue (4, Insightful)

tessaiga (697968) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006225)

It won't be easy to shove those two aside, however. Danny Sullivan, editor of Search Engine Watch online newsletter, noted that Google and Yahoo have loyal followings.
Google commands the large following it has today because people trust the search results to be impartial as well as accurate. Having a good search algorithm is only part of the battle. That's why Google has been scrupulous about setting its "sponsored links" off to the side where they're clearly identifiable, and refusing to push up search results in return for cash. The trust issue is especially important in the closed-source world of search engines, where the details of how the searches operate are not released (part of their "security by obscurity" approach).

Given that Microsoft doesn't have the best history as far as impartiality goes, even if they did come up with a good search algorithm, how much would people trust the results?

Re:Search is a trust issue (2, Insightful)

dmorelli (615543) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006368)

We shouldn't even be trusting Google as far as we do. It's a scary position of power to supply filtered data like this to the entire internet-using world.

That's really the issue here, Microsoft could come up with the fastest, most reliable, and most impartial search technologies ever developed. But they still won't be able to get rid of that funky monopolistic proprietary smell.

The URL has changed (5, Informative)

Eponymous Cowboy (706996) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006232)

CNN moved the story ... the link from the article is 404'd.

The article is now here [cnn.com] .

Images in pictures (2, Insightful)

r_glen (679664) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006235)

...will include a tool for retrieving digital photos based on images in the pictures

Wasn't it already shown [slashdot.org] that this technology is quite unreliable?
This 'tool' is not going to work, much like my Xbox.

404, page not found, and errors elsewhere (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006238)

http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/internet/09/19/

Server Error
This server has encountered an internal error which prevents it from fulfilling your request. The most likely cause is a misconfiguration. Please ask the administrator to look for messages in the server's error log.

Google has competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006240)

Quite frankly, Google has absolutely nothing to worry about -- except Microsoft, that is. Google can even beat MS, but only for so long. At some point, Microsoft's money and patience may win out. Google's only hope is that MS goes into the airline industry, because that's the only way they'll go bankrupt before they can catch up to Google.

aQazaQa

Don't want to switch but... (2, Interesting)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006250)

But he said better personalization is one way to improve searching. For example, if MSN knows that the computer user searching for "pizza" lives in a specific ZIP code, it can deliver results of pizza places in that ZIP code.

As much as I hate Microsoft, if they made a good proximity search engine, I would use it all the time. It's one feature I wish google had.

Re:Don't want to switch but... (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006388)

The mapquest yellow pages [mapquest.com] work great for businesses like the example. (Did that very search for pizza places just a couple weeks ago).

MS is unknown for search... (5, Insightful)

LilMikey (615759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006251)

They're throwing around all these inflated statitics about how many people use their service and number of searches and what not. It's all PR! The only people using their search are those that type their searches straight into the IE address bar and that's about 75% of Windows users I'd say. I've never heard anyone claim that MSN is their search engine of choice. Noone actually *chooses* to use MSN search... probably because it's not that good.

They'll have to iron out regular web searching before any of their gadgets and toys will be taken seriously.

Correct Link (3, Informative)

xaraya (635792) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006253)

Correct link [cnn.com] to article (as if anyone reads them;)

A major breakthrough if they can do it (1)

nenya (557317) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006257)

We're talking about searching the content of images here. I don't care who does it: if they can pull that off, it'll be huge, especially if it's done by analyzing the image itself, and not extra data tacked on to the file. I've heard of some other attempts to do this, but the one's I've seen haven't worked very well.

An issue though: currently, sticking things in an image file is a pretty good way to prevent spiders and other simple AI-ish algorthims from grepping information like email addresses off web pages and signing up for things like Hotmail. If this image-searching idea works as well as MSFT hopes, that could change.

I'd read the article in question, but it seems that even CNN cannot resist the slashdot effect.

A face recognition search? Yeah right (1)

WebMasterJoe (253077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006258)

I wouldn't be surprised if face recognition searches worked in the future, but MS isn't going to be the ones who pioneer it.

Let's do a search for "Microsoft switcher" and see what comes up [scripting.com] .

Marketing vs Product (1)

msgmonkey (599753) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006266)

Google is no.1 for a reason, they produced the best search engine without any major advertising. I'm all for competition but if Microsoft want to take over Googles' no 1 spot by just having deeper pockets than I sincerely hope they fail.* If however they intend to make a better search engine then good luck to them. * Yes I know MS have more money to throw at R&D.

Misspelling (1, Troll)

mabu (178417) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006336)

I think you mis-typed "R&D" when you meant "M&A".

Microsoft doesn't do research and development, they assimilate and copy other technologies.

Google became number one because they created the best product, not because they leveraged their dominance to force their system upon the masses. As long as users are free to choose which search engine they want to use, Microsoft will be at a disadvantage because the company has NEVER been able to produce a superior product in any category, and has never been able to gain market share on the strength of its products alone. Even the very first victory for MS was due to signging an agreement with IBM to bundle their products.

The Good The Bad and The Ugly (1)

Black Mage Balthazar (708812) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006268)

The Good:

I've been wanting a tool that could search the contents of images for a long time, so instead of image searching for Corvette and getting logos, I could get images of the actual car.

The Bad:

It's from everyone's favorite anti-trust company, so everyone will start using it, as it will become the default page in IE on a fresh install. This means that even if it doesn't work that well, people will still use it, because it's "convenient".

The Ugly:

No doubt the interface will be bloated with long load times and an overly busy interface. They could never approach the "beauty in simplicity" interface of Google.

Bull... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006269)

"Here are your results buried within 100.000 ads"

First Thing They Should Do Is... (1)

BigDork1001 (683341) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006276)

Well the first thing MSN should do is get rid of all the damn clutter they have on their page. Perhaps after that and a big improvement on their search capabilities I'd consider ever using it.

Semantic Web: best solution (3, Informative)

MarkWatson (189759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006284)

Real breakthrouhs in search technology are likely to come from Semantic Web technoligies: using standards like RDF, OWL, etc. for document markup based on content type (using standard ontology definitions).

The technology for the Semantic Web is good enough - people and organizations just have to be willing to add semantic markup. This will enable what I would call knowledge based search. Some good tools are:

HP's semantic web toolkit [hp.com]

Protege Ontology Editor [semanticweb.org]

RDF and semantic web tools for Swi-Prolog [swi-prolog.org]

-Mark

I already do that. (1)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006287)

Bell has developed a way to store phone calls, bills, pictures and music on a computer hard drive, with a search tool that can sort through it all.

Windows button + F

And just what use is this exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006294)

Do I want M$ indexing all my private photos? (Are they going to follow robots.txt directives)
Do I want people to be able to pick out a face from one of my photos and find every online image with that face?
The only uses I can really envisage for this are;

Government. I thought TIA had been killed, presumably M$ are betting that a replacement will happen.

Stalkers. They're going to love this.

BigCorp LLC. Profiling data that now includes your friends and acquaintances.

Simple strategy... (4, Interesting)

Not_Wiggins (686627) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006296)

They can just make it the "default" search in IE.

I can just see it, too... IE will "accidentally" resolve www.google.com to search.msn.com. And while the lawsuits are going, M$ will claim (as in, for marketing purposes) marketshare as proof that their search is better.

And when it does come out in the courts some ump-teen years later with Microsoft guilty of uncompetitve practices, Bill will cough up the $300M to google and "fix" the "bug."

I've seen this history before... I don't expect them to change a winning formula. 8P

... And CNN Works on Web Capabilities (1)

ryantate (97606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006301)

Wow, there are only five comments posted at this moment and already the link is dead.

Well, it's 404, not slashdot effect, so I'll save the snide comments about Netscape Enterprise Server [netcraft.com] .

Anyway, here's a working link [cnn.com] . Should be good for at least a few minutes.

A Market In Consolidation (5, Insightful)

JavaSavant (579820) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006303)

I worked for AllTheWeb.com for a while before we were part of a package sold by FAST Search and Transfer to Overture over the summer. Overture then is gobbled up by Yahoo!, this all after Yahoo grabs Inktomi. The SEO market is in consolidation. Back after we were bought by Overture, there was a lot of speculation that Microsoft would buy out Overture, along with the Yahoo! speculation. In fact, each of the engineers with AllTheWeb.com were contacted by Microsoft regarding employment possibilities. One of my coworkers went to Yahoo! and i'm contracting now.

But I digress...

This is a market in consolidation. Microsoft throwing its' hat in the ring is probably a good thing for the market, like them or hate them. They have the capital to bring new products to market and introduce some more innovation to the search engine space. This IS a good thing. However it's going to cost Microsoft an arm and a leg to get in. Yahoo! bought Overture for the paid inclusion search, Google has it's own products now for sponsored search as we know. Microsoft is going to have to develop this capability in house now, or pay a king's ransom to Yahoo! to get the Overture paid search into their product.

The only advantage Microsoft has is that when you install IE, your home page is always MSN search. When you mistype a URL (outside of VeriSign's squatting), you get sent to MSN search. They'll get a lot of traffic by default.

But it also could re-open anti-trust inquires as well....very interesting.

Biggest concern (1)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006309)

Biggest concern holding this back:

MSN search as censored by Microsoft.

Simply put, I can't trust a MS based search to return relevant information and not censor it's results. Until MS can resolve this issue, their search will never be as popular as Google. This is the single fundamental lesson that all other search engines seem to have failed. Between paid placements to censoring undesirable topics or information, they have all lost credibility. I want information, not someone else's judgement. Many people have long been in the habit of automatically going to page three or so in the search results just to get past paid placements.

Bullshit alert (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006313)

retrieve all pictures that include a specific person's face
Beers on me for everyone who reads this on the day they do that.

Being able to do that reliably is way beyond current image processing technology.

Isn't this so fsking typical of micro$oft.... (1)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006320)

Someone does something right, really right. So M$ sees and all of a sudden *THEY* have to do it, they dip into their $30E10 cash reserve and buy their way into the field. All because Billy wrote a BASIC interpreter 25 years ago. Fsk Billy, Fsk Micro$oft, Fsk stupid fsking users that support him.

Re:Isn't this so fsking typical of micro$oft.... (1)

C. Mattix (32747) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006352)

I may not agree with their business practices often (one of the reason's that I didn't work there after interning there), but they don't just "buy" their way into the field. That would be if they did a hostile takeover of Google. They are spending lots of money hiring lots of programmers that have been laid off by other places.
There are a lot of smart people at MS, and they get paid well, and hence need lots of money to explore an initially non-revenue generating venture.

MS adopts these steps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006326)

STEP 1: PURCHASE GOOGLE
STEP 2: TAKE ALL THE CREDIT
STEP 3: PROFIT?

What is it WITH THEM??! (1)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006333)

Is there any technology they can't let be? Why is it they feel the need to yank the rug from under every single software company out there?

Seriously, Microsoft's megalomania is showing again. Why can't they just be satisfied with just doing one thing WELL instead of muscling their way into everything else and forcing mediocrity wherever they go?

Jeez MS! Why not get the bugs out of Windows first THEN start all these kinds of projects?! The simple fact is - you don't have time for this AND trustworthy computing.

image analysis (2, Interesting)

MrLint (519792) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006338)

I really a while back about the army doing automate image analysis feeding a computer pictures in order to identify hidden tanks. It worked great. Sorta.. it turned out that the army, in order to teach it, fed in pictures of tanks hiding in trees. Well the program started to mark as a 'hit' anything with trees in it. As i recall it was abandoned.

Meeeeellions of dollars! (3, Interesting)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006345)

Microsoft is betting millions

To us mere mortals, that's like betting a $1.00.

At last!! The goatse guy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006357)

For example, users can ask their computers to retrieve all pictures that include a specific person's face or background."

will rise to fame and fortune!!

Really complex search engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7006360)

All search results will point to Microsoft.com or MSN.com

Microsoft is Finally being innovative (-1, Troll)

ViolentGreen (704134) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006362)

and you all still won't admit it.

innovation (1)

trb (8509) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006371)

What MS said: "The decision to build or buy came down to our ability to innovate."
What MS meant: The decision to build or buy came down to our ability to control.

Image search? What percentage of info search on the web is/will ever be image search? (Answer, more or less, zero.)

I am hard pressed to imagine how MS's "reputation for innovation" is going to enable them to develop search technology so innovative that it will be noticeably better than google's.

Success in technology markets comes from marketing, not technical superiority. MS is great at marketing, but Google seems fairly healthy in the search sector. If MS overtakes them in search, it will be by throwing its weight around, not by building a better mousetrap.

MS search engine cant find things on own site (1)

eljasbo (671696) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006381)

Every time i try to find something on Microsoft's support web page it always spits out bad results. It waits a long time and gives me an irrelevant answer which has nothing to do with what i want. Even if i type in the exact article title i am looking for it cant find it. Google seems to have a better index of Microsoft's web page than Microsoft itself does. Also, the results the msn search engine gives is obviously weighted towards people who pay and Microsoft's own interests. How do they expect to compete?.

The Definition of success? (4, Insightful)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 10 years ago | (#7006383)

People are forgetting that for Microsoft to succeed, they dont have to beat Google, they dont even have to come close to Google. Someday, we geeks are going to have to come to terms with the fact that we are not the majority.

Unless someone downloads the Google Toolbar [google.com] , the only search option in 80% of the browsers on the web will be Microsoft's. That is a marketing message for advertisers that Google cannot match. Most of Microsoft's business are only to provide value-add for Windows and Office. Profitability beyond that is only gravy. Now, you take a Microsoft search, link it with Office-specific tools that let people search for supporting footnotes or photos while drafting a document, or PowerPoint presentation, then you have some value there.

It doesnt matter at all whether Microsoft comes up with anything better than Google, what matters, is that they have the capacity to suck the oxygen from Google's revenue stream if they ever come remotely close, because of all the desktops under their control.

The future probably sees Google in court asking to be placed next to Microsoft's own search button in their browser or whatever is supposed to represent browsing in Longhorn or beyond. When that happens, you know that Google has lost the battle.

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