May 3, 2006 5:40 PM PDT

Gates: Microsoft will keep Google honest

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May 3, 2006
REDMOND, Wash.--While Google has grabbed an early lead in search and Internet advertising, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates pledged on Wednesday that his company would "keep them honest."

Speaking to a crowd of MSN's largest advertisers, Gates said that Microsoft would prefer not to be coming from behind.

Bill Gates Bill Gates

"For Microsoft, we always want to be in the lead, making the breakthroughs," Gates said. But, in an onstage interview with ad executives and talk show host Donny Deutsch, Gates conceded that the company has made mistakes, including in some cases picking the wrong people to lead certain efforts.

He also gave credit to his rival, saying Google has "done a great job on search and what they've done with advertising." But, he reiterated his position that search today is still too much of a treasure hunt and promised that better things are in store.

"We will keep them honest, in the sense of being able to do better in a number of areas," Gates said.

Gates and Jay-Z

With its annual MSN Strategic Account Summit, which runs through Thursday, Microsoft is both trying to hone its pitch to advertisers as well as reassure its investors, who have pushed Microsoft shares significantly lower since Microsoft announced plans last week to invest roughly $2 billion more than expected in its new businesses, largely MSN and Windows Live.

Earlier in the day, MSN executives showed off some of the work the company is doing in search as well as in Windows Live services. In a demo, MSN Vice President Blake Irving highlighted Microsoft's effort to turn its Messenger product into more of a social networking tool, showing off a feature--currently being tested in Australia--that allows people to see their buddies' buddy list, assuming the buddy and their buddies opt-in.

The company also announced plans to bulk up the amount of exclusive content on MSN, with a new effort dubbed MSN Originals. In the first of the partnerships, Microsoft is backing new Internet-based productions from Reveille, the production company behind TV's "The Office" and "The Biggest Loser."

Gates said Microsoft is not really taking a new position when it comes to content, noting that it has always created some content but largely partnered with those that do that for a living. "Every month we will have neat new deals with content companies," he said.

In general, Microsoft didn't exhibit a lot of new technology on the first day of the summit, showing mostly MSN and Windows Live services that had been previously demonstrated or are already in beta testing. The company also offered few specifics on just what it plans to buy with all of those new investment dollars, though CEO Steve Ballmer may address those issues when he speaks to the crowd Thursday.

And, even on its home turf, Microsoft took some knocks from some of its ad industry guests who noted that other Internet services have largely captured the mind of consumers.

One of the speakers, ad executive Rishad Tobaccowala, said that Google's rapid iteration of its ideas is "one of the reasons Google is running circles around Microsoft."

MSN's Irving conceded that Microsoft is playing catch-up in some areas.

"We're kind of new here," he said.

But Gates said not to count out the software maker.

"I think this is a rare case where we are being underestimated," Gates said. "That doesn't happen very often."

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75 comments

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Microsoft needs to keep itself honest first!
Once you can accomplish that feat, then worry about keeping Google honest!
Posted by JuggerNaut (860 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Exactly...
Why have one insecure service when you can have many
Posted by jasonemanuelson1 (82 comments )
Link Flag
The Microsoft Bubble
is shrinking around Redmond.
Posted by jmmejzz (107 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ya sure..
..I have been hearing that oh well for the last 5 years, and MS has averaged around 15% growth, if you meant a growing stable bubble, you are on the mark.
Posted by FutureGuy (742 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft and Google
Let's see. The Yugo of the software world thinks that they are
going to keep Google honest? Microsoft never has, and never will
create anything. Their only approach is to copy, cheapen, and ruin.
If Gates bought Intel, they'd announce a two transistor CPU for next
year, delay the introduction four more years, and then have to
recall it due to defects (we hardware folks wouldn't tolerate the
crap that goes into software).
Posted by Da Coyote (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
microsoft shrinking
eventually google will buy out microsoft and axe it.
Posted by microsoft slayer (174 comments )
Link Flag
I will beat Microsoft
with my awesome open source project...how's that?
Posted by microsoft slayer (174 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MSN search is still pathetic...
Using MSN is like being imprisoned within the microsoft campus. The goal is find an outbound url that takes you away from MSN Hell!!!
Posted by microsoft slayer (174 comments )
Reply Link Flag
honest? LOL
Honest? That's the funniest statement I've read in a long time.

MicroSoft faced major legal battles in both the US and Europe over dishonesty in how they marketed their products...they forced computer manufacturers to buy Windows licenses for machines on which it was never installed...they insisted that certain features could not be removed from their OS without breaking it and then proceeded to do so when forced to by a judge...

The list probably goes on but that's all I can recall at the moment. Honest was a really poor choice of a word for what Mr. Gates was trying to say (and I do hope they keep Google competitive because that will be good for us all.)

Scott
Posted by scott_c (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Hahahahaha
Pinch me. I just can't stop laughing.

This has got to be the most blatant use of "psychological projection" we've ever seen from a company that has made a marketing strategy out of the technique.

Perhaps its Google that helping to keep Microsoft "honest!"
Posted by Maccess (610 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Honest?
"For Microsoft, we always want to be in the lead, making the
breakthroughs," Gates said. Well that's a dishonest statement isn't
it. Well MS may as well become the industry policeman on keeping
companies hones, because the DoJ sure failed in their case.
Posted by Ian Joyner (66 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hahaha... Honest?
Hahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahaha
Posted by UntoldDreams (91 comments )
Reply Link Flag
All The Best...Win if you can
If MSN LIVE delivers better results than Google, then it is definitely a good thing for customers.This is what competition can do. All the Best Microsoft...The first right thing that Microsoft has done is to have accepted that it has lost enough ground to Google and Yahoo. Only when it is realised then the next positive step can be taken...In this sense.....Win If you Can....Its good for all of us.....for we would have more choices...
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.buckleupnow.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.buckleupnow.com</a>
Posted by itispals (56 comments )
Reply Link Flag
only problem is...
Competing in terms of delivering a better product is totally alien to Microsoft.

The company's idea of competing is by creating compelling products, products that consumers are "compelled" to use it because its the unchangeable default, it's locked in, it creates incompatibilities with competing products, and so on.

But, yes, I would like to see Microsoft create a better product that wins in the market because its better and not because consumers are compelled to use it.
Posted by Maccess (610 comments )
Link Flag
No chance
The web war is alredy won by Google. Apart from the market share, Google already has something which Microsoft do not - mind share; of customers, of web developers, of geeks, of the average surfer.

Google has already become of Internet, what Microsoft has been of desktop. This is a war Microsoft is deemed to lose, coming from behind.

Stop talking high Mr.Gates and focus on your desktop goals. Get the ever-slipping-never-shipping Vista out of the door and then go and blow your bugle. Otherwise, just shut up.
Posted by pythonhacker (71 comments )
Reply Link Flag
arrogance and stupidity of Bill
Its hard for me to understand why the board of directors at Microsoft allow Bill to open his mouth. He makes the entire company look stupid just about every time he speaks. Why would Microsoft the one company that has made a habit of copying and cheating other innovative companies, make a statement like this? Is this just the arrogance and stupidity of Bill?

Beware Microsoft, more and more people are getting wise to you. Someone just might come along and keep you honest.
Posted by baddata (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
think about it
Why didn't the board shut him up? Perhaps because he's both the chairman and the single largest shareholder. Perhaps?
Posted by mortis9 (370 comments )
Link Flag
Gates' so stupid, he's worth billions, and you?
Yeah, Bill Gates is so stupid that he created a multi-billion dollar company from scratch. And what did a ****-ant like you accomplished?

But keep on posting as if what you have to say or do might have an impact. It makes for good comic relief.
Posted by kamwmail-cnet1 (292 comments )
Link Flag
i think u misunderstand
"Keep Google honest" is more a figure of speech...and actually it's use here suggests to me that Microsoft has conceded defeat to Google. They are content to come in second. So I'm more shocked about that.
Posted by df561 (94 comments )
Link Flag
stupidity?
Stupidity of who? well, he must know something do ya think...accepted in to Harvard....lets not forget being one of the richest in the world. Yeah I wish I had his "stupidity".
Posted by welcomnetworks (8 comments )
Link Flag
stupidity?
Stupidity of who? well, he must know something do ya think...accepted in to Harvard....lets not forget being one of the richest in the world. Yeah I wish I had his "stupidity".


As for the Arrogance, I would have to say if I was Bill Gates I would be pretty arrogant too.
Posted by welcomnetworks (8 comments )
Link Flag
Honest?!
MS keeping Google honest? What . . is everyone smoking crack this
week or something? First Bob Johnson's UFUD &lt;<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://" target="_newWindow">http://</a>
news.cbsi.com/2102-7349_3-6067167.html?tag=st.util.print&gt; on
May 2nd, then this?
Posted by mathue_tax (56 comments )
Reply Link Flag
say what you like
To argue in any fashion that Microsoft is out of the game at this, or any, point would be to ignore the simple and obvious industry power of the Redmond giant. The largest software company in the world, with cash reserves in excess of the GDP of half the world's countries, has more power to affect the market than people are giving it credit for. Let us not forget that Microsoft also has some of the world's best and brightest people (a few defected Executives isn't shouldn't be construed as a significant loss of personel).

Essentially I'm saying this: the ability to toss 70 billion dollars at a given problem, in this case internet search, shouldn't be forgotten. Call me a fanboy, say what you like, I don't care. The fact can't be ignored that Microsoft still retains the resources needed to make a comeback.
Posted by mortis9 (370 comments )
Reply Link Flag
For the most part
Microsoft has been unsuccessful outside of the OS and office software categories. When it can't leverage a package using it's desktop monopoly and has to actually compete, it comes up short.
Posted by freemarket--2008 (5058 comments )
Link Flag
They lack the talent.
70 billion dollars won't help you if all you have to peddle is crap.

People are finally starting to realize what garbage MS offers.

The only thing that will save them is to do the one thing they have never done: create innovative, useful software that reasonably secure.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Link Flag
I used to be a big fan of google
I still use it, but two websites I manage haven't been cached by Google in months, where as MSN and Yahoo crawl them reguraly.

It makes me wonder what else I am missing when I do a google search.

Oh well, my the best billionare win.
Posted by Bob Brinkman (556 comments )
Link Flag
$70 billion.....
Sure they COULD do that. But what would the shareholders say? Gates is only a pawn. The shareholders hold the largest power. Just look at how sharply the stock fell after MSFT announced a "mere" couple billion dollar increase in spending than expected. Sure, Microsoft COULD spend billions to eradicate Google- but they would have po'ed shareholders, and loss of market capitalization. Would it all be worth it to win over search? A market with lower margins than Windows or Office. I dont think so.

As a side note, I would just LOVE it if Microsoft became the next advertising giant. And we know how they are once they become drunk with power. Am I the only one that can imagine MSFT becoming the next Gator-like intrusive advertising company? I hope they alienate all their customers and drive themselves to the poor house.
Posted by naterandrews (256 comments )
Link Flag
Mr Ballmer Throws A Chair at GOOG
All I wanna know is did the guy do it or not??? The press reported he did. George Walker Ballmer denied denied denied. Hmph.

Youth wants 2 know!
Posted by i_made_this (302 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You want the truth from MS?
Never going to happen. Honesty come more naturally to a con then it does to MS.

Did he do it? Who knows, but it is certainly within his 'character'. The man is a hot-headed, retarded clown.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Link Flag
it's apparently obvious
take a look @ the prices of their stocks over the last 5 years, oh yeah, with google better make it only the last 18 months
Posted by monarch2 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ah yes...
Our baby imperfect brother has become a teenager. Soon he will be a man. Ah yes our BIG BROTHER who will help us better our lives and protect us from our selves. He has entered our homes viewed our naked wives and checked the contents of our tolits with the eye in the sky. Thank you Mr.Bill for your concern for us. It is good that you are expanded you perfect and wonderful windows operating systems in all aspects of our lives. Yes Bill you can do better then anybody, you are the best nothing like the rest. You borrow their code and do it one better. Thank you Mr. Bill for taking the position of God after all you are the richest and all I can say is I am glad that man lives apx. 70 years and by special mightyness 80 years.
Bill? How many years do you have left? I mean we have left? To think all your money will not buy you one minute more. Happy times Bill in your VAIN pursuits. Cast your eyes on the rich forgotton men in cemetaries with crumbling tombstones only to be dug up by a future archeologist and placed into a museum with the wrong iterpetation of who you where. In othere words Bill do some good with your money like investing in Google and others and let them finish the work the are doing and concentrate on making your windows software into something more perfect then what it is. Do good to your neighbor. You may find them liking you more.
Posted by Ted Miller (305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Uhhh bill is god?
You borrow their code and do it one better. Thank you Mr. Bill for taking the position of God after all you are the richest and all I can say is I am glad that man lives apx. 70 years and by special mightyness 80 years...

How did you get taking the place of god out of that?
Posted by welcomnetworks (8 comments )
Link Flag
What..Microsoft the NEW...
..Frick'n browser police. Keep Google Honest! Coming from one of the most dishonest corporations next to ENRON!

Here, take this prediction to hart Microsoft, by the end of 2006 Google will have produced a browser of all browsers. Notice I didnt' just call it a web browser because Google has already proven that I can browse anything, it just doesn't use it's own BROWSER yet! YET!

~Justin
Posted by OneWithTech (196 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It is never going to happen. IE will be the leader.
It is never going to happen. IE will be the leader.
Posted by dosts (2 comments )
Link Flag
Windows is key
that would be kinda funny if Microsoft made googel products non compatible with Windows Vista...just a thought
Posted by welcomnetworks (8 comments )
Link Flag
Google Finance gives the competition a run for the money
As quoted "Google is apparently unique in the industry in that they're treating recruiting as a network effect, similar to auctions or operating systems. Smart people go where smart people are, which enables them to launch cool stuff, which attracts more attention, and suddenly you have a feedback loop. At some point, enough smart people want to work there that it's not simply enough to be smart; you have to market yourself.

That kind of feedback loop is happening here too, but not at the same scale, because Google is being far bolder, cleverer, and more overt about setting up the feedback than we are (or anyone else is, for that matter.)

If you think about it, marketing ourselves as programmers isn't really something we've had to do in a very long time. When I was in school, worried about job interviews, a more senior guy in my class told me not to worry  he said that your first interview is you marketing yourself, but after you have some experience, the companies are all competing to hire you. You get to pick and choose. I felt a rather awed disbelief at the time, but experience bore his assertion out, for the most part. In the 1990s, as long as you weren't a complete idiot, interviews tended to start and end with "when can you start?"

But not at Google. Now even some of the smartest people wonder whether they'd get a job there. Rumor has it that if you don't have a Ph.D. or equivalent, don't bother applying. Regardless of whether that rumor is true, it's contributing to the marketing hype.

So Google has no trouble finding good people, because through careful maneuvering, they've convinced most of the world that Google is where the smartest people work. By doing so, they've begun to create a network effect that's leaving many of their competitors to scrabble for "leftovers". "

As quoted


Gerard Rotonda
Posted by gerard rotonda (22 comments )
Reply Link Flag
M & G
All comments below are from only people who support G it seems and loyal to them. Just Search is not everything in this Computer world. I am wondering why so much one sidedness. We have seen M all these days. G will show its true colors in coming yrs and then let us see some x will emerge.
Posted by dosts (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I knew it.
I complained earlier in the thread how I was a fan of Google, untill I recently noticed none of my sites are getting indexed. Looks like I'm not the only one.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/05/04/google_bigdaddy_chaos/" target="_newWindow">http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/05/04/google_bigdaddy_chaos/</a>

Just goes to show, no company is perfect folks.
Posted by Bob Brinkman (556 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No one can beat Google?? Really..
Google might be the best search engine around, but it has its issues and is definitely beatable
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/05/04/google_bigdaddy_chaos/" target="_newWindow">http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/05/04/google_bigdaddy_chaos/</a>
If MS puts its money (and other resources) where its mouth is, that just a matter of time. MS has historically done just better then its competition, not a whole lot better, just better enough to be a major challenge. MS like to be challenged and does its best under competition, just ask Sony.
Posted by FutureGuy (742 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The Hell with MS & Google monopolies - go Anoox
What is the difference between MS &#38; Google?
Nothing. They are both monopolies, just monopolies with different stock symbols.
They are both run for the purpose of making most amount of profit and having highest share prices, which of course means at our costs.

What is needed is a search engine that is not a monopoly and will not be one. A search engine that is run free of profit motivation for the
benefit of the people (Small businesses).
Is there such a search engine?
Yes. It is: www.anoox.com
So if you are sick &#38; tried of monopolies controlling our lives, whether it is Big oil regarding Gas prices or Big media regarding access to information, etc. Then seek, find and use companies like AnooX that
are run for the benefit of the people and not having highest share prices which means price gouging and entering one business after
another. OTN, check this out from Anoox where they even promise not to enter any other business but to be in search engine business only:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.anoox.com/in-search-engine-business-only.jsp" target="_newWindow">http://www.anoox.com/in-search-engine-business-only.jsp</a>

Take that you filthy monopolies :)
A search engine who does not want to take business away from our businesses. A search engine that does not want to make the most money, as a result Adverrtising on Anoox is like 90% less than Google oe Yahoo. Way to go anoox :)
Posted by Sea of Cortez (67 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The hell with people who don't understand what a monoply is
How are Microsoft and Google monopolies in terms of online businesses? If there are two companies that do the same thing, and compete, there is no monopoly. For there to be a monopoly, there can only be one company and it has to be next to impossible for somebody else to enter it.

For example, if there was a monopoly on internet search, you couldn't start Anoox.

"They are both run for the purpose of making most amount of profit and having highest share prices"

So, you just definied what a BUSINESS is. I'm not sure how running a business harms everybody else, in fact I think that watching the bottom line is something all companies should do. I consider companies that expand and add to the economy good things, it's called capitalism, it's a beautiful thing! If you disagree, take a good look at the communist countries throughout history and tell me that their economic system worked better then capitalism has.
Posted by mwa423 (78 comments )
Link Flag
A real eye opener. But monopolies are tough.
Your point about Google &#38; MS being to information what Big oil companies are to oil is really excellent.
A real eye opener.
What is really the difference between Exxon or Chevron or Mobil?
Nothing, but their stock prices:
Does one under cut the price of the other by 50%. NO.
Does one offer alternative fuel sources to Gas, as stations for example in Brazil do? NO.

So I agree with you that Anoox is the real alternative to Big media (Google &#38; MS &#38; Yahoo)
control of information &#38; the resulting on-line Advertising. But the question is can a not-for-profit and hence small business like Anoox
compete against these mega Goliath monopoly (Wall Street backed) companies like Google &#38; MS &#38; Yahoo!
I have serious doubts.
But I am rooting for them.
Posted by caudio_roma (57 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft Is An Excellent Company
Its really hard for me to understand the "loathing" of Microsoft. Here we have a company that has been around for over 20 years has shown steady leadership and management, has been scandal free and has never been shy or afraid to compete. It always makes me laugh when people bash Microsoft and they are posting their comments using Windows and IE. Microsoft is a market leader in Desktop applications, Google is a market leader in web search, just as Novell WAS a market leader in NOS (that's Network Operating System for u geniuses out there), Navigator WAS as the Web Browser market leader, and Word Perfect and Lotus WERE marekt leaders in office automation. Those companies are also rans right now except Novell which is piggy backing on the Linux wave. Remember Linux by the way, the Microsoft killer, Linux was so supposed have made Microsoft bankrupt by now, i am laughing so hard i have cola coming out my nose. Microsoft has shown a tremendous ability to re-invent itself and get with the times, and they pick their battles. Google is no slouch they are a young hip company riding high, but Microsoft had proven to be an nimble elephant. As for all the hoopla out there about apple, ahem.. apple has been the best PC out there for over 20 years but in all that time only 3% market share. I guess the market is really dumb....
Posted by seankirk (31 comments )
Reply Link Flag
yeah
You know, I can't agree with you less. MS is not a excellent company. They were in the right place at the right time. They have gone out of their way to compete, as you put it in the most illega, unfair way. It is because of these illegal tactics they have been such a success. IE would not have won the browser war so easily had it not been bolted to the OS. It is a horrible browser, with the biggest security nightmare in history. The company is always slow to market, it can't keep a schedule. It is always trying to pry into new markets it hasn't "lead" yet. Why don't they invest money and time into their current products. Why do they have to compete with Google, I mean what are they thinking. Obvoiusly the investors are thinking the same thing, the second they heard that the stock droped the most in 5 years. They have enough money to do anything they want so, let them do it.
Posted by cranbers (12 comments )
Link Flag
Cola in Your Nose
An indication of your enlightenment.

Its obvious, the reason you don't understand, is because you
don't actually know anything. To understand something, you
have to find out why. To find out why, you have to ask real
questions. Read old reports, and news articles.

Did you know that your excellent company, used internal
malware to send false error messages about competing
products? Did you know your excellent company told (and
convinced), Intel to kill a two projects, and that if they didn' they
would pull support for their Pentium chip (the MX i think) being
rolled out at the time. Did you know that your excellent
company forced all PC vendors they could influence (oh and they
got them all to), not only have IE installed, but would pull
licensing if they included any other browsers on their PCs?

These are ALL facts. Not hearsay. They were found guilty. But
guess what. Even if you were to fine Microsft the biggest
corporate fine in history, its is pennies to them. This is not a
company who's riches are in their buildings, or other assets that
can't be quickly liquidated. They have the cold, hard cash, and
lots of it.

In the end, by gones are by gones. And all that's ever been
asked of them is to produce a quality, stable OS, and hey, re-
write it if necessary. But, as I have stated before, I've come to
suspect (Ballmer would be prime witness number one), is they
are far more concerned with dominance, than anything else.
That philosophy controls what happens in Redmond. As a
result, its gonna be a cold day in Hades, till Microsoft releases
their version of Linux ... which is what I suspect they are gearing
up to do.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
lower your standards
those 3 words will change your life! stop expecting the world from the mega giant. if you want inovation then do it yourself, and if you make something of value then sell out to microsoft. or you can try to sell it yourself and watch microsoft clone your creation and sell it for millions. call it what you will but those guys rock! haha
Posted by jeffhesser (102 comments )
Reply Link Flag
sell out?!
Yes, your heros, and the vision of them in your eyes, indicates the
moral standard you wish to aspire to.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
 

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