Microsoft Takes-on Google Mashups

John Musser
Mar. 19 2007, 12:05AM EDT

In Microsoft seeks mashups for Live Search in bid to best Google, Computerworld reporter Eric Lai looks at how Microsoft is using their 2007 MVP Global Summit to actively invite a core constituency to write mashup applications on their Live platform APIs. In particular using their Live Search API. (See our collection of 11 Microsoft platform APIs here).

The story includes quotes from Bill Gates and from Jonathan Pincus, GM of their Online Services Group:

Besides wooing developers, Microsoft is investing heavily in its core search technology and in extra services, such as one that would give users rebates from merchants that they find through the Live Search engine, Gates said. "Believe me, we are putting brilliant, brilliant people into search," he added.

Pincus firmly believes that Google's lead on mashups remains tenuous. Google doesn't actively reach out to developers, he claimed, saying that he doesn't expect it to start doing so for another year or two, no matter what Microsoft does.

But to make real headway on mashups, Microsoft can't just replicate the tactics that it uses to woo developers of conventional Windows applications. For one thing, Microsoft needs to give its full blessing to developers that want to create mashups combining Microsoft's technology with a competitor's.

"In terms of geocoding, Yahoo has a very accessible API," Pincus said. "People could easily combine that with Virtual Earth, because the essence of Web services is that things should be able to play well together." He added that Microsoft needs to "get out of our comfort zone and overcome our fear of looking stupid."

John Musser

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