Microsoft, Ask & Fox On Google At Web 2.0

Steve Berkowitz & Jim Lanzone At Web 2.0
Photo from kennejima at Flickr

Yesterday, Ask and Microsoft talked about taking on Google at the Web 2.0 Summit. But honestly, the highlight for me was the image of Microsoft's Steve Berkowitz sitting next to Ask's Jim Lanzone. Lanzone use to work for Steve, then took over his spot running Ask when Steve left. Both remain good friends, and it was cool to see them up on that panel side by side.

ZDNet covered what they said, plus they have an even better side-by-side photo. Jim's push in taking on Google is that its vulnerability is being distracted by projects other than search. He also puts out this new line I haven't heard used before: "Google is the model T of search. Over time peoples' needs evolve." But I heard you can have search in any color you want, as long as it's black!

Steve talked about consumer experience, the idea that search within IM might be presented differently than within a community site. Plus, he talked about Google's weakness in terms of cultural issues, such as still learning how to act as a public company.

Greg Linden also has a short write-up of the talk, looking at the question about personalized search. Steve wanted to give users complete control of their data. Jim was more pessimistic on personalized search, seemingly in terms of users actually helping with it, since more are "lazy" and don't want to customize things, which is pretty true.

Greg points over at InternetNews, which has another write-up of the talk -- this time with Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie saying in the fight against Google, there is "immense opportunity in the core space" that he's "surprised" Microsoft hasn't branched into. I take core space to mean search.

At, Ross Levinsohn of Fox Interactive is noted to have said it was "genuine" of Google CEO Eric Schmidt to have visited so quickly after Google snapped YouTube away from a possible purchase by Fox. Plus, he offers soothing words that YouTube would have been "fun" to own but Fox couldn't do it at that price.