For anyone who is serious about using the computer in his daily life, and for quite a few who aren’t, Google is the first place they turn to find answers to almost any question, from the trivial to the profoundly serious. Google has, in fact, made the information available on the web almost instantly accessible to us all. And because so many of us turn to Google to get answers, advertisers are willing to pay large sums of money to Google for the opportunity to present their products to all those eyes.

That last fact, that advertisers will pay for access to those who use a search engine, hasn’t escaped the notice of some of the big boys, like Microsoft and Yahoo. It isn’t surprising that a race is on to build the next enhancement to the art and science and yes, even the magic of searching for information. As this quote from an article in Forbes magazine illustrates, getting people to switch from Google to another search engine means the new search tool had better offer some neat new features. And that, boys and girls, means good things for all of us. It’s an illustration of how competition causes advancement in the state of the art. Yahoo, Microsoft detail search strategies: “Yusuf Mehdi, the executive at Microsoft’s Internet unit MSN leading the charge on search, said that Microsoft had already started to discuss plans to integrate its new search technology with Longhorn, the code name for the next version of Windows due out in 2006.

‘We will do an MSN search starting shortly with a beta and well before Longhorn ships, everything across local PC search, e-mail search, Web search, deep database search,’ Mehdi said at the same conference on Wednesday, referring to the test version of Microsoft’s search technology due out later this year.

Mehdi said that search technology for the PC would appear well before the launch of the next version of Windows, although the details had yet to be worked out.

Ironically, Microsoft offers the ability to search for files within Windows, but Mehdi admitted that it could be done much faster and efficiently.

‘Why does it take so much time to search the PC when you can index the whole Web and find it in milliseconds,’ Mehdi said. “


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