Yahoo and MSN cannot compete?

According to Greg Linden, despite their best efforts, Yahoo and MSN keep losing the search war against Google.

What is the problem at Yahoo and MSN? After four years of trying, they just seem to be slipping further and further behind. First, MSN showed a drop in web search market share, down to 12.9% from 15.3% a year ago.

As someone who does not own any stock in any of these companies and who does not have a vested interest in any of these companies, I am actually quite pleased that a company run by engineers wins over “traditionnally managed” companies. Naturally, Microsoft is a large company and places like Microsoft Research are not exactly full of suits seeking the latest acronyms. I am quite certain that Yahoo has also large components mostly run by engineers, but I do get the feeling that Google is unique in that the entire company is ran by engineers and scientists. When Google wins, creative technology people win.

Greg Linden is a good example of what a technology person can do despite the suits running the show. Greg is responsible for making collaborative filtering ubiquitous through the Amazon recommender system.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

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