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Microsoft still trying to answer Google’s wake-up call

Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie doesn’t necessarily think Google has all the answers, but he does credit the company for opening Microsoft’s eyes.

“Google’s success very clearly caused an inflection point within our industry and within Microsoft in terms of understanding advertising as an economic engine,” Ozzie said Tuesday, speaking to analysts at a Goldman Sachs investor conference in Las Vegas. “It was a wake-up call within Microsoft.”

Despite pouring resources into its MSN and Windows Live efforts, Microsoft has struggled to compete broadly in the Web search space against Google. Ozzie said that the company is still working hard there, but is also putting some of its energy into more vertical types of search, which is industry- or topic-specific search. He pointed to this week’s acquisition of Medstory, a California-based company that develops health care search technology.

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