Microsoft's search chief: Here's how we'll beat Google

Microsoft's search chief: Here's how we'll beat Google

Summary: Qi Lu, chief of Microsoft's online services unit, says the company will focus on social, geotargeting, apps and task completion to be a search alternative.

SHARE:

Microsoft's search chief acknowledged that the company can't "out-Google Google," but it has the pieces to differentiate itself in search via partnerships with the likes of Facebook and Yahoo.

Speaking at Microsoft's Financial Analyst Meeting, Qi Lu, president of the company’s online services unit, said that search platforms are improving rapidly. Microsoft ultimately sees search as a window to the cloud. The company also will demo Bing on Xbox.

Also: Microsoft's online sinkhole: $8.5 billion lost in 9 years

But first, Microsoft needs to correct the revenue per search issues that have plagued Yahoo and hurt the portal's financial results.

Regarding the Yahoo deal, Lu said:

We've been materializing the benefits of the strategic goals for this partnership particularly in search quality. Because when you combine the search task together there's more signals to work with, just like injecting a lot more oxygen and raise the heartbeat of the search platforms and making a lot of progress to benefit some material, a product gets better and better, benefits both the company and it benefits consumers because we, the combined traffic of 30%, almost 30% United States is now a credible alternative to consumers, to advertisers.

And we're also migrating the Yahoo! advertisers in North America on time. That's really a massive undertaking. We had some struggles because undertaking is very complex. We start off with some scenarios that are unprecedented scenarios. We made a major improvement to our platform and we have stabilized. And we've seen better ways for advertisers and better engagement for advertisers, and we have confidence that we'll be able to unlock the economic opportunities at the platform and deliver RPS lift as we go forward.

The larger question is how Microsoft can use Bing to differentiate itself on search. Lu said Microsoft has the following items in its strategic quiver:

  • Bing's ability to work with Facebook and search social streams. Any time you share there's billions of sharing activities. It creates a digital linkage to the Web and social graph. It gives us new scenarios to help users discover.
  • Geospatial. New information architecture will emerge and Bing can be more relevant.
  • Apps and services search. Lu said Microsoft aims to organize the Web as well as the services that ride on it.

Add those up and Lu said Microsoft is positioned to focus on task completion for users via multiple platforms.

From these items, Microsoft plans to be an advertising player. "This is our ultimate quest," said Lu.

More:

Topics: Social Enterprise, Banking, CXO, Google, Legal, Microsoft, IT Employment

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

22 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • LOL!

    the search division is bleeding billions in red ink and this dude thinks it will beat google?....please!
    The Linux Geek
    • RE: Microsoft's search chief: Here's how we'll beat Google

      @The Linux Geek Why do you care ? I assume you wont be using Bing. Be happy with your google searches !!
      1773
      • Danie: 30% already? that's a MS fanboy dream...

        @daniejam10
        http://marketshare.hitslink.com/search-engine-market-share.aspx?qprid=4
        theo_durcan
      • RE: Microsoft's search chief: Here's how we'll beat Google

        @theo_durcan

        They're talking US share. Google is >95% in Europe, I understand. That skews the results.
        x I'm tc
    • RE: Microsoft's search chief: Here's how we'll beat Google

      @The Linux Geek
      Try to learn the facts and the competitors abilities. Bing/Microsoft is all about long term vision. Its not about some google engineer's weekend project which gets shut down in a years time. In five years time its no surprise if Bing captures 35% market share.
      owlnet
      • RE: Microsoft's search chief: Here's how we'll beat Google

        @owlnet

        They are looking for a bit more that that, as its at 30% already.....

        Like ive said before. Bing is great in states, not so great outside.
        daniejam10
      • long term vision?

        @owlnet <br>well, yeah. when you can afford to lose billions upon billions of dollars it's pretty easy to have a certain kind of long term vision.<br>most companies have long term vision that includes the bottom line. ms doesn't have to concern itself with such ugly things.

        pretty easy to "beat" the competition when the competition has deal with those ugly things.
        oneleft
    • RE: Microsoft's search chief: Here's how we'll beat Google

      @The Linux Geek
      Well, Microsoft already have 30% (including Bing powered Yahoo!). Also Verizon is powered by Bing, likewise T-Mobile is powered by Google. Once Nokia gets Bing on their featured phones that will change the story for Google. If I were leading Google, I would definitely worry about it.
      Ram U
    • RE: Microsoft's search chief: Here's how we'll beat Google

      @The Linux Geek

      Hey they are going to use a pretty graph to beat Google.
      Alan Smithie
    • beat 'em not so fair and square

      @The Linux Geek
      how to "beat" the competition: pump money into it until they die.
      oneleft
  • RE: Microsoft's search chief: Here's how we'll beat Google

    I like Bing, it reminds me of how Google used to be, before it was corrupted by power and money.
    bannedagain
    • too funny

      @bannedagain
      so losing billions is to "compete" is better? how exactly? sounds like money and power abuse to me.
      oneleft
  • RE: Microsoft's search chief: Here's how we'll beat Google

    Bing is a much more consumer friendly search engine than Google. Many catagories provide specialized pages for their related content like movies, music, tv shows, games, local information. It even presents you with sports information by simply typing the team name. If the team has a game in progress, it shows you the current status and score of the game. I can't wait to see how things look with the HTML5 webapp
    WixosTrix
    • RE: Microsoft's search chief: Here's how we'll beat Google

      @WixosTrix
      *No question* but that Bing is a better search engine than Google today, if you are in the US. That's a big if. MS needs to get their act together outside of the country and get a *major* overhaul to their Maps product before they can even ding Google elsewhere.
      x I'm tc
      • I disagree

        "*No question* but that Bing is a better search engine than Google today"

        No, it's a poor copy. That 'search signal' they claimed (sending the Google searches of its toolbar users to Microsoft HQ to add to their own search) - at best that gives them common search results comparable to Google's. Deep results are where they're weak.

        I notice that when I try searching for my own comments, Google finds them, Bing doesn't and I think it's because that would be the first time that particular search has been done, and hence nothing for MS to scrape from Google.

        Also the result can usually be read right on the page in Google, the snippets are well chosen. I find I have to click the link and go hunting on the site with Bing.

        So I'd expect to see a bigger click through on Bing vs Google stats and a stronger weighting on common searches on Bing.
        guihombre
    • RE: Microsoft's search chief: Here's how we'll beat Google

      @WixosTrix
      So you claim Google has no categories? What world do you live in? Specialized search, let's say like science oriented (Google Scholar) is simply non-existent in Bing. I think Bing has few nice features and Google has screwed up few things in their search, but Bing is still light years behind.
      kirovs@...
  • Certainly lofty goals

    You know I am certainly glade Microsoft has people with such lofty goals. I think that is the attitude to have. But I am skeptical that they will gain that much on Google. But at least Google has some competition. That is good for all users.
    jscott418-22447200638980614791982928182376
  • RE: Microsoft's search chief: Here's how we'll beat Google

    Here is an interesting question. If Google uses its search monopoly to leverage an web based OS, doesn't that allow Microsoft to integrate Bing into windows? Google would have to strike the first blow, I would think as Microsoft is already under the DOJ's watchful eye. They have already been convicted of having their hand in the cookie jar.
    Can 2 monopolies leverage their market power to attack each other's territories?
    rgor@...
  • RE: Microsoft's search chief: Here's how we'll beat Google

    Note that M$ achievements are always in the future these days.<br><br>Truth is, they are seriously scared. They get the lion's share of their income from patent-based windoze and Office. These are both threatened by the cloud, and the simple fact that mobile technology has established itself as the new way to go - only a matter of time before some bright spark links a tablet to a qwerty, and suddenly windows doesn't matter any more.<br><br>OK, except to the diehard windows fans who will be along soon to insult me!<br><br>Windows for mobile/tablet is failing; the cloud is increasingly attractive - but office on the cloud isn't while most alternatives are (a) free and (b) well able to match the capabilities most people need from office. It has been estimated that it would take a lifetime of clunkiness to actually use all the gizmos office provides, and very very few people care - and the cloud will draw a firm line in the sand - clunkiness is out.<br><br>So M$ - again - are planning an assault on search? And a gimmick-laden one at that?<br><br>Sorry, squire, I am not the least bit impressed, and I suspect (diehards aside), the market won't be either.<br><br>Good try, though <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/wink.gif" alt="wink">
    Heenan73
  • Do you understand the article?

    It's a piece of text that you re-read and still can't get much meaning. I guess its just BS.
    peter_erskine@...