Hey Microsoft: look to Krugle for your search woes (at least for your developers)

It’s just amazing to me that Microsoft has continued with a failed search strategy, even after it’s apparent to EVERYONE (including Microsoft’s CFO) that what they are doing isn’t working. Hint: it ain’t gonna work, even if they flush another billion or two down the “copy Google” toilet.

So, what should their strategy be? Go for a little cut against Google. Don’t try to attack Google’s castle head on. That won’t work. Instead, flank them.

Start by surrounding Google with lots of niche engines. Technorati showed the way three years ago, even though Google has largely caught up now, by doing Blog Search, which was something that Google didn’t do well (still doesn’t really: if someone wants to find a blog on, say, Scrapbooking, what search engine really gives a nice set of blogs? Neither Technorati, nor Google’s blog search engines do.

But, there’s another engine that’s showing a way to start building a more successful search strategy: Krugle.

Buy it, and buy it now.

Why? Cause it’s a search engine for developers. Go talk to Steve Ballmer about that one. Remember him screaming “developers, developers, developers?” Well, Krugle delivers.

Krugle does something demonstratable that Google does not do: searches code and indexes it and helps developers in a real, demonstrable way.

Here’s an example. If you’re a Windows programmer you probably will need to look up some API name, like “DestroyWindow,” to learn more about it. Krugle’s search for DestroyWindow not only has links to the proper MSDN page, but shows off book mentions and code, and links to examples of its use in code.

I keep hearing about Krugle from developers. They tell me it rocks for looking up stuff. Need shopping cart code? Search for it on Krugle. Now compare that to Google/Yahoo/MSN.

Now, I can hear you now “developers don’t matter to search engines.”

Oh, yeah? When I visit Google there’s a huge plasma screen that shows every Google search done in real-time (it only shows that a search was done, not what the search was about). Everytime I look at that screen Redmond, WA does more Google searches than most other large cities in the world and does more Google searches than the entire continent of Africa.

Hint: there’s not much in Redmond except for Microsoft. So, what are all those Microsofties doing on Google?

I bet they are doing searches for technical information and looking for code samples, error names, algorithm tips, and API names.

I remember talking to tons of developers on the Windows team about why they love Google: it was the best engine three years ago, by far, to look up information on Microsoft’s own Web site!

That brand love for Google spread from geeks and developers to others in society. Don’t underestimate the influence that developers have here. YOUR OWN DEVELOPERS MICROSOFT!!!

So, start small. Don’t try to be Google. Why don’t you buy Krugle, get a position in search, then build on that?

It sure couldn’t hurt. What you’re doing now sure ain’t working.

67 thoughts on “Hey Microsoft: look to Krugle for your search woes (at least for your developers)

  1. Geezo Robert!

    It must be time for another Intervention, this time with Deprogramming.
    *Hint* You don’t work for Bill anymore….

    Microsoft is in trouble, but that trouble is from inside the company. Their attempts to crush competition by introducing new toys as you point out in the case of search is an abysmal failure.

    When your own people are using third party search engines to find things on their own company’s website, you would think that somebody would notice.

    The Internet has changed “business as usual” in such profound ways that their attempts to buy the top spot at the table by moving into a segment of the applications market is having only marginal success.
    Let’s look at keeping track of your money in the business arena.

    Consider their buying and rebranding Great Plains which was a DOS accounting package that they waited until the folks at GP had rewritten to work on windows, then scooped it up, despite having said that they would not be moving into applications that their ‘partners’ were already in.

    On the personal computing front, Looking at QuickBooks which MS tried to buy but was stopped on anti-trust grounds,(MS Money is just not a contender) their new operating system Vista, is such a radical departure that QuickBooks had to issue an advisory to it’s customers that Vista will break the software they already own.
    http://www.quickbooks.com/Helpcenter/Vista/VistaQb2006.aspx

    As for your advice that they do something as daring as buying Krugle, is lunacy of the highest order. The first stumbling block is that it is open source, which even at the 11th hour of the office party remains heresy of the first water.

    The second stumbling block is belief that Microsoft could actually improve an open source application. Not because of talent, but because their belief that ActiveX and .net are the only true paths to salvation.

    The third and perhaps the most important stumbling block would be having to negotiate a severence package for Chris Locke, the official blogger for Krugle.

    Trust me, this will hurt more than any other thing that Microsoft might do.

  2. Geezo Robert!

    It must be time for another Intervention, this time with Deprogramming.
    *Hint* You don’t work for Bill anymore….

    Microsoft is in trouble, but that trouble is from inside the company. Their attempts to crush competition by introducing new toys as you point out in the case of search is an abysmal failure.

    When your own people are using third party search engines to find things on their own company’s website, you would think that somebody would notice.

    The Internet has changed “business as usual” in such profound ways that their attempts to buy the top spot at the table by moving into a segment of the applications market is having only marginal success.
    Let’s look at keeping track of your money in the business arena.

    Consider their buying and rebranding Great Plains which was a DOS accounting package that they waited until the folks at GP had rewritten to work on windows, then scooped it up, despite having said that they would not be moving into applications that their ‘partners’ were already in.

    On the personal computing front, Looking at QuickBooks which MS tried to buy but was stopped on anti-trust grounds,(MS Money is just not a contender) their new operating system Vista, is such a radical departure that QuickBooks had to issue an advisory to it’s customers that Vista will break the software they already own.
    http://www.quickbooks.com/Helpcenter/Vista/VistaQb2006.aspx

    As for your advice that they do something as daring as buying Krugle, is lunacy of the highest order. The first stumbling block is that it is open source, which even at the 11th hour of the office party remains heresy of the first water.

    The second stumbling block is belief that Microsoft could actually improve an open source application. Not because of talent, but because their belief that ActiveX and .net are the only true paths to salvation.

    The third and perhaps the most important stumbling block would be having to negotiate a severence package for Chris Locke, the official blogger for Krugle.

    Trust me, this will hurt more than any other thing that Microsoft might do.

  3. I have a better idea for MS.
    Get out of search altogether, make a scaled down version web version of Office (which would make Google’s Docs and Sheets look like the garbage that it is), and make a deal with Google to host on Google’s services.

    The relationship between MS Web Office and Google would be akin to that between Seinfeld and NBC. Both would make huge money. (And save money as each wouldn’t waste money competing with the other.)

  4. I have a better idea for MS.
    Get out of search altogether, make a scaled down version web version of Office (which would make Google’s Docs and Sheets look like the garbage that it is), and make a deal with Google to host on Google’s services.

    The relationship between MS Web Office and Google would be akin to that between Seinfeld and NBC. Both would make huge money. (And save money as each wouldn’t waste money competing with the other.)

  5. Isaac:
    We use OpenSource technologies such as Hadoop, Nutch and Lucene for crawling, indexing and searching web pages and code. For a few more details, check out as well as the Krugle blog .

    - Chris

  6. Isaac:
    We use OpenSource technologies such as Hadoop, Nutch and Lucene for crawling, indexing and searching web pages and code. For a few more details, check out as well as the Krugle blog .

    - Chris

  7. Hey Chris and Steve, can you give some ideas of your code search technology? Surely you guys did more than just downloading the CVS/SVN from sourgeforge and indexing archieves.

    And, would you want to be bought by MS?

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