Microsoft, Ask & Fox On Google At Web 2.0

Steve Berkowitz & Jim Lanzone At Web 2.0

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

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.

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