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Gates: Rivals Can't Match Search Integration With Microsoft Platform, Services

Microsoft's CEO hinted to attendees at his annual CEO Summit that the company would "crush" Google in much the same way it did Netscape. Microsoft's counterattack includes plans for a broad enterprise information management platform, anchored by search and Web services.

Microsoft launched a counter-attack against Google by touting plans for a broad enterprise information management (EIM) platform anchored by search and web services.

At his 10th annual CEO Summit Wednesday, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates hinted the software giant will crush Google in the same way that it crushed Netscape -- by integrating enterprise search deeply into Windows Vista, Office 2007, Outlook 2007 and SharePoint 2007 and with the rest of the Windows platform and also with emerging web services from Microsoft.

Microsoft's multifaceted search platform, which includes Vista Search, Sharepoint Enterprise Search, Windows Live Search and an enhanced web search, cannot be matched by rivals because it harnesses other Windows services such as workflow and BI. This will enable users not only to search and find corporate data but analyze it, act on it in a logical way and share it with colleagues, Gates said.

For example, end users can analyze the results of SharePoint Search or Outlook 2007 search, analyze it with Microsoft's business intelligence tools and act on it through Office-based workflow-enabled business processes or enterprise instant messaging.

"This is the last mile of productivity," Gates said, noting that the ability to search across the corporate desktop, network, intranet, and Internet services from a common user interface will help reduce or eliminate information overload affecting knowledge workers.

Microsoft "is digging the ditch" with its next wave of client and server platform products and web services due in 2007, Gates said. Windows Live Search will go into testing in the second half of 2006.

"The key differentiating thing is how the information is presented," Gates said during his keynote, noting that it's not enough to do business intelligence well, or search well, or portal well, but to allow these services to "feed off each other" and provide information in context to end users.

NEXT: Search across multiple PCs

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