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Microsoft Debuts Live Search Engine

Microsoft Corp., which ranks behind Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. in the Internet search-engine wars, is launching a revamped entry into that space.

Microsoft says Windows Live Search, which debuts in test form today, offers "advanced tools for helping people quickly find, view, organize and preview search results." New features include a slider bar that increases the amount on information on the search results page and "smart scrolling," which allows users to view results without moving from page to page.

The new search engine will power both MSN.com and live.com, the Microsoft Windows Live Web site. Both Live Search and Windows Live are part of Microsoft's evolving emphasis on Internet-based software and services complementing the Windows operating system and the Office software suite. (For more details on Microsoft's strategy, see RCP magazine's March 2006 cover story on software as a service.)

No word yet on how long the Live Search beta test will last.

Google Keeps an Eye on Redmond
It doesn't seem like the brass at Google Inc. should be losing too much sleep over its competition just yet. After all, Google ranks as the Internet's most popular search engine, trailed by Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft.

But in an analyst briefing held before Microsoft released its new Live Search to beta, Google CEO Eric Schmidt acknowledged concerns about Microsoft because of the company's history in going after high-tech upstarts.

At the same time, Schmidt predicted that Google might someday generate $100 billion in annual revenues -- an impressive step up from its current $6 billion level, and nearly three times Microsoft's annual revenues.

Intel and Microsoft: Together Again
Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. are sharing details on their latest collaborative efforts. Their work, which revolves around the chipmaker's virtualization technologies, is designed to enhance the interoperability of the two companies' key management products. For example, one initiative allows Microsoft's Systems Management Server (SMS) to work with Intel's Active Management Technology. Customers should be able to begin using the new capabilities later this year with the introduction of Intel's Professional Business Platform, aka "Averill."

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Cisco and Microsoft: Partners in Communication
Speaking of collaboration, Microsoft and Cisco Systems Inc. have joined forces to develop a collection of about 30 business communication tools. While most are enhancements of existing products, a few are new. The two companies are also working to integrate Microsoft Office Communicator 2005 and Microsoft Office Live Communications with Cisco's Unified Communications System.

The Microsoft Partner Program: Then and Now
When Microsoft launched its current partner program three years ago, company executives characterized it as "a revolutionary change in an evolutionary way." In this Microsoft-sponsored roundtable discussion, Microsoft Vice President Allison Watson and representatives from three partner companies talk about where the program has been and where it's headed. (Note: Watch for Redmond Channel Partner's own Q & A with Watson, the partner program's top executive, in the magazine's April issue.)

Posted by Anne Stuart on March 08, 2006 at 11:53 AM