|News August 02, 2005
The defection of Dr. Kai-fu Lee to
Google is the first digit to fall from
the leprous giant, Microsoft-the outward
manifestation of a bigger problem long
in the making. That which made the
software giant tall, the nourishment of
cutting edge engineering, is also the
chief repast of the unexpected rival in
Google. The nervous tapping of
billionaire fingers can be heard all the
way from Redmond.
How important is it that Microsoft
increases its search presence? While
Gates & Co. have cornered the PC market
with crushing control, and will likely
continue, the Internet and search will
be the future center of the tech world-a
world likely controlled by Google. Is
Microsoft in danger of losing its
command of the market? Discuss at
"We need to do this to stop Google,"
Bill Gates is reported to have said to
Dr. Lee referring to the lawsuit aimed
at preventing Lee from working for the
This was just months after Lee sat in on
a top-secret executive meeting entitled
"The Google Challenge."
why is a software company who controls
90% of the desktop market shaking in its
giant boots over a search engine
start-up? Simply put, the PC is passť.
Honestly, while a near monopoly is a
surefooted position in the future, that
future is lackluster when most have a PC
that works as well as they need it to,
serving as a sufficient portal to the
more important utility-the Internet.
"A new science is being defined in an
area that will take over much of what we
do commercially and socially," said
Usama Fayyad, chief data officer and
senior vice-president at Yahoo to
Not only is Microsoft having trouble
establishing their foothold in the
ever-evolving and explosive search
market (currently only handling 15% of
queries and declining), but the company
that brought PC utility to the world is
losing top executives as well as the
greener future stars of the industry to
Google and Yahoo, fished from Redmond's
Business Week Online reported on the
recent challenges Microsoft faces in
recruiting the brightest of the computer
Oren Etzioni, a professor of computer
science at the University of Washington
in Seattle, told them that Google has
hired most of the top one-third of his
search class for the past two years.
"High-profile researchers are now
flocking to the search engines," echoes
Marti Hearst, associate professor at the
University of California at Berkeley's
school of information management and
It's certainly no secret to Excite.com
pioneer Joe Kraus, either.
"If you're talking to someone great,
they're invariably talking to Google,
and they often have an offer," he said.
has been in a hiring frenzy over the
past year. The company roster has nearly
doubled from 2292 in June 2004 to the
current 4183 full-time employees (4184,
if you count Dr. Lee). In the second
quarter of this year, Google hired 230
engineers, no doubt the best around.
Yahoo has been in the mix as well,
taking on Larry Tesler, former VP at
Amazon.com, and Prabhakar Raghavan, a
first-rate authority on algorithms
formerly of search-software firm Verity.
So where does all this leave Microsoft?
Nervous as they experience something
they're certainly not used to-losing. As
Google and Yahoo explode in the second
quarter to handle nearly 9 billion
queries and 69% of the search world, MSN
had to swallow a 4% loss in search
Microsoft will have to be extra
aggressive in the future to secure a
position, and employees.
As mentioned by a former professor in
forum thread pointed out by
SearchEngineRoundTable, the competition
"Every semester you have couple hundred
students in your courses and most of
them are average - the typical student.
A small number are very bright... and
maybe one or two will be absolutely off
the scale in their intelligence, work
ethic and driving vision.... a few of
those will be inclined towards very
practical problems... then a tiny
fraction of those will be highly
interested in information technologies.
In an entire teaching career you might
see a couple who might fit what it takes
to work and perform well at one of these
Read the Rest of the Article.
About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff
writer for WebProNews covering
technology and business.
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