Thursday, September 27, 2007

Microsoft rolls out enhanced search

Microsoft said Wednesday that it has more than quadrupled the amount of material it scours on the Web and will be rolling out a series of other improvements to its search engine over the next month, as the world's biggest software company continued its bid to narrow Google's large lead in Internet search and advertising.

Calling search "a killer app," Satya Nadella, corporate vice president, search and advertising platform, said Microsoft has made substantial improvements in understanding what people want when they type a few words into Microsoft's search engine,, and in delivering more relevant responses.

But will it be enough?

Google conducted 56 percent of all U.S. Internet searches in August, followed by Yahoo, which conducted 23 percent and Microsoft, which conducted 11 percent, according to comScore, a research firm that tracks Internet traffic.

Karsten Weide, an analyst with IDC, said the new features could help Microsoft increase its market share, but he said it would be hard to make much headway against Google.

"If a company wants to change users' habits, they need to prove they are a world better than the incumbent," he said. "This is not going to turn the tables."

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