Bill Gates said last month that Google is kicking Microsoft’s butts in the search engine world, MSN is planning the launch of a new search engine and in house search advertising solution, and MSN is making bounds to improve the all around feel of their online community. And then comes a potential killer – Hotmail and MSN Messenger crashes. Microsoft Corp admits that a “significant portion” of people who use the company’s Hotmail email system and other internet-based products had trouble accessing the services on Friday.
According to Microsoft, the problem was not a virus or attack on the MSN network- is was an internal problem. In addition to Hotmail, the popular web based email service, Microsoft said people were having difficulties accessing products such as company’s MSN Messenger instant messaging program. Last year, MSN shut down its free chatrooms to direct members to Instant Messaging. Services have been restored over the weekend.
The question is not whether MSN’s services are failing, many web site owners have experienced server outages and deny of service problems due to huge amounts of traffic or database crunches. But MSN… during the search engine wars, while competing head to head with Yahoo and others to build and maintain their huge networks.
On the dawn of the expected launch of a new MSN Search, the MSN portal’s two popular services crash; leaving perhaps millions out in the cold for at least one day. For the people at MSN, hopefully that one day will be forgotten… and not MSN’s credibility.
According to a report last week, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is set to challenge the dominance of Google with his own high-powered search engine, which has been in secret development for more than a year. A Microsoft spokesman said: “Microsoft believes that the search engine experience can be dramatically improved and we are investing significant financial and human resources in a new type of search engine that will be a major improvement on existing offerings.” Hopefully their future searchers will not weigh the effectiveness of MSN last week when judging the dramatically improved MSN.
More than a year ago, Microsoft built what the software industry calls an “algorithmic crawler” – nicknamed a “spider” – to assemble a vast index of websites. After long months of combing the web, and assisted by a large team of programers, the spider’s work is nearing completion.
Just as MSN sets the table for a new MSN Search launch – joining the ranks of Yahoo and Google in the Search Engine War, their gas tanks run on empty for a day. Makes you wonder how many MSN members opened up Yahoo email accounts last week and over the weekend.