In an interview with Information Week, Bill Gates talks about Microsoft Research and speaks briefly about search and of course mentions a competitor that begins with the letter "G". Gates says that coming soon MSN will have "more than matched" Google in terms relevance. Here's the full passage:
Search is an amazing example where we relied somewhat on an outside company, Inktomi, which Yahoo bought, then decided to build our own search effort essentially from scratch. Now, in a very short period of time, we will actually have more than matched the kind of relevance that Google can deliver. The role of Microsoft Research in that has been phenomenal.