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Report: Bill Gates Remains Tied To Search

So much for retirement

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The latest Nielsen stats put Microsoft’s share of the search market at an unimpressive 11.9 percent.  What’s more (or to be accurate, less), its year-over-year growth is negative.  But Microsoft’s search team has an interesting ally in its corner, as it turns out Bill Gates may still be lending some sort of hand.

Gates was supposed to have stopped participating in Microsoft’s everyday business about two months ago.  Philanthropic pursuits would more or less occupy the rest of his life.

Only Stephen Shankland reports that Scott Prevost, the general manager and product director at Powerset, said at SES San Jose, "Bill has definitely not retired for us."

Having Gates on hand should provide Microsoft’s search team with a huge morale boost, or at least a motivational dollop of fear.  There is the question of why Gates would choose to do this, yet some answers are obvious (he’s interested in search, he doesn’t like losing) and honestly, a billionaire’s thought pattern might not be easily followed.

The one other thing to consider is whether Prevost is simply wrong; Powerset represents a relatively fresh Microsoft acquisition, so perhaps the newbie failed to recognize the age of some old memo.

It’s likely that a life of writing checks day and night wouldn’t agree with Gates, though, and Microsoft’s search engine may be getting a little personal attention as a result.

Report: Bill Gates Remains Tied To Search


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    Microsoft is still in the running when it comes to live search but, honestly they are a software company. Maybe it’s the simple fact Google brings in almost half of Microsofts total revenue off search. I wonder what Bill’s involvement (if any)is invested in search. So far I’ve seen countless home page designs and a name change which I think is part of the downfall. Keeping it simple (and the same) is why I love Google (besides relevant results). I want to search for something not look at pretty homepage pictures (like live.com).

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    A lot of webmasters are having difficulties getting their sites listed, myself included. And this again reflects how poor the results from Live must be compared to google.

    It cant be true that we need to take additional steps to get crawled by Live, its up to Live to reach "the acceptable standard" in search, and if they cant do that, then i see no reason to bother "fixing" our already near-perfect markup.

    I’m sure its hard for most of us to tell why exactly Live is getting more popular, it also seam to prefer to present us with localized results, presumably based on IP, which is one of the more annoying bad-practices.

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    I do think that it will be a long time before Gates is out of the scene at Microsoft. I see his hand in Bing, even now.

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    2 years on from this article and he’s mostly active in the Gates Foundation, except for the occasional press event.

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