Report: Microsoft Pursues Google

The software giant in recent months came to the search leader about a merger or partnership, according to reports.

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Microsoft Corp. has sought a possible takeover or partnership with Web search leader Google Inc., according to a report published on Friday in the New York Times.

The Times reported, based on interviews with company executives and others, that Microsoft approached Google within the last two months but that so far Google appears ready to pursue its initial public offering instead of any Microsoft deal.

Meanwhile, Google has started weeding through investment bankers as it pursues an IPO, which could yield shares sometime in the first half of 2004, according to the report.

Officials at Google and Microsoft decline to comment on the article.

Microsofts search ambitions have been growing. In June, the company began testing its own Web crawler called MSNBot, fueling speculation that is would be bringing its Web search in house and that it was pursuing Google.


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for more details on the companys Web searching strategy in this Microsoft Watch article.

Microsofts MSN Internet group uses partners such as Inktomi Corp., Overture Services and LookSmart Ltd. to power its search. In early October, MSN revealed plans to jettison LookSmarts paid-inclusion search listings but then weeks later renewed a contract with Overture for paid-placement search results.

"Microsoft, as far as most people know, is really, really committed to building its own search engine and to do new things with search," said Chris Winfield, president of search engine marketing and Web development company 10E20 LLC, in New York. "They want to take over that space and dont like being second to anyone."

Winfield, like many in the search industry, expects that Microsoft will be pushing for its search technology to be integrated into Longhorn so users can also search the Web directly from Windows. He predicts that the first use of Microsofts search engine technology will appear in the next six months in MSN Search, long before Longhorns expected 2006 release.


Check out more about Longhorn and other future technologies in this special report on the recent Microsoft Professional Developers Conference.

"They know that they have to establish their search engine as the premiere search engine," he said.

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