, Tech , Web Search

Dave Winer has an Anonymous Source spilling the beans on the MSNbot that has been popping up in log files. Apparently M$ made an informal approach to Google to sell up, that was refused and M$ have decided to build their own rather than rely on the partnership solution they employ just now.

They have Google in their crosshairs. They are trying to replicate every feature of Google in the next year, and have tie-ins with the next version of IE (including a 'search' box right on the browser toolbar that by default points at MSN Search) and in Windows Longhorn (the Search function in the shell will have an Internet option that will go to MSN by default). They made a build-vs-buy decision in the last few months (in fact they made an informal offer to purchase Google, which was refused).

The current MSNBot was built by one junior guy at MS as an experiment. So if it does strange things like re-requesting the same data a bunch of times. It's just a research project and not real (yet).

MSN has a FAQ on their prototype crawler.

Posted by Paul at June 19, 2003 01:15 AM |
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