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6/20/2006
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Most Microsoft Workers Search With Google

Do employees at Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google use their own search engines? Apparently, some do and some don't.

An overwhelming majority of Microsoft employees use rival Google to search the Internet, bloggers and a Web metrics company claimed Tuesday.

Andrew Hitchcock, a 20-year-old student at the University of Washington, got the ball rolling by posting Google Analytics statistics on visitors to his Web site. Of the users originating from Microsoft's domain who reached Hitchcock's site via a search engine, 80 percent came through Google. Only 20 percent used a Microsoft search engine (either MSN's or the Live.com's).

"Do companies drink their own Kool-Aid? (or eat their own dog food, depending on which company culture you follow)," Hitchcock asked on his site.

Microsoft may not, but Google and Yahoo workers apparently do; employees of those California-based companies were far more loyal to their own search engines. Of the Google visitors, 100 percent used their own search engine; 64 percent of Yahoo personnel used that portal's search engine (the remainder called up Google).

Hitchcock's findings were in line with more formal statistics gathered by visitor analytics vendor VisitorVille Intelligence. According to the Shepherdstown, W.V.-based company, 66.3 percent of Microsoft users turn to Google for searches. Only 19.6 percent use MSN; 10.2 percent went to Yahoo to search.

Google-centric blogger Philipp Lenssen dug even deeper into the VisitorVille Intelligence data, and posted the results on his site. By Lenssen's count, Yahoo workers used their own engine 68.9 percent of the time, Google's 29.8 percent of the time.

Lenssen matched Hitchcock's take on Google: 100 percent of Google workers stuck with their own technology.

The numbers shouldn't be too surprising, since Google has half of the search business in the U.S. According to the most recent numbers published by Nielsen/NetRatings, Google has 50 percent of the market. No. 2 Yahoo and No. 3 Microsoft MSN accounted for 22 percent and 11 percent of the market, respectively.

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