Microsoft Founder and Head Honcho, Bill Gates announced his plan to focus his remaining months of active duty on search. At the company's annual Strategic Account Summit, Gates waxed eloquent on the transformation of destination-based search to an online experience.
A month ago at the Search Engine Strategies conference, Steve Berkowitz, SVP of Microsoft's Online Services Group, spoke in a similar fashion emphasising the differences between "destination search" (any randon search on Live Search or Google) and "convenient search" (where users search in whichever portal they are on). On the subject, the Microsoft founder said, “Well, by far the biggest thing essentially what we're talking about at this conference is the when people go to the Internet they have a task in mind. And it's not just to see a list of links. This is not a, hey, I'm paid to go do treasure hunts. They want to organize a trip, or learn about a topic, and the idea that we can capture things at that task level, and through the magic of software make that far better, and in particular when it's where you want to buy something, that the people who want to buy something that the people who want to advertise, who want to offer up that maybe they're the place that you want to do business with, I think we can make that far better.
I mean, after all, today if you want to do a certain type of transaction, there's probably a specialized Web site you don't know about that's far better than just the general, say, search way of going about. Why can't we take, by using a platform-type approach, the best of those dedicated sites and bring them in so that you don't have to click on a tab or anything, you just type your words, and yet that domain, those people who are expert are somehow incorporated into that. Now, there's a lot of software magic in terms of how you make sure that's very performant, and make sure you've got it right for that user, but because we can learn so much about users, and if we talk to them about how we're using that information, so they're explicitly saying, yes, I'm comfortable with this, and I can control it at any time, I think that we can take and move away from the way we think about this today, that we can provide a lot more value there.
So broadly thinking, it's about search, it's about buyers and sellers, and that will be my biggest thing. There are some things about getting the tablet driven into the mainstream, and about dramatic things in Office. And some of these will actually be the projects Steve is likely to pick for me to put my the part-time work into, even after mid-2008.”
Gates to continue with philanthropy after quitting by the end of 2008. More power to Gates.