Microsoft PR team: "He said what? Oh, God. Well, at least he didn't admit it was his home page."

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates kicked off the 4th annual D: All Things Digital Conference last night with the last thing you’d expect: a tacit acknowledgement that Google’s search product is superior to Microsoft’s. “We have to do things for search users to convince them to type in our URL,” Gates said. “[Google’s] still very much the leader. … We have lots of work to do to gain credibility, and we are very intent on that. The talent we have hired and what we are working on makes me optimistic. ‚ĶCompetitions like that are a five-year battle or trek. Fortunately, we have the patience and wherewithal.”

Gates’ comments served as a preface to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s remarks this morning. Speaking at an investor conference sponsored by Sanford C. Bernstein, Ballmer said Microsoft will continue to increase research-and-development expenditures as it seeks to take on Google. “If you believe in the opportunity, you have to invest behind it. You have to make big, bold bets,” he said. “Being a little more generous in research and development than a little less is a smart thing to do. There’s a lot of innovation still coming in Internet browsing and hardware. If we don’t keep Windows fresh, Windows will not continue to flourish.”


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  • Just goes to show how obvious Google’s superiority is getting. At least Gates is trying to be honest, but I think he’s dilluting himself about the future potential of Microsoft’s search product.

    As it stands now, MSN Seach is still losing ground to Google, not gaining it.