Microsoft: Blodget Wrong About Kumo Because He's The Tiger Woods Of Searching

Microsoft objects to our contention that its new search engine, Kumo, is doomed.  Specifically, Microsoft thinks we are making the common analytical mistake of extrapolating our own experience to the overall population:

The one point I would make to you is I think you are extrapolating your experience and insight (I am a good searcher) too broadly. You might as well say, “I’m Tiger Woods, hitting a drive straight is not a problem for me, I don’t know why all these people pay for lessons and end up in the rough.”
 
The data shows exactly what the memo says. These are the raw search logs. It’s not focus group data, it’s look at actual queries that come in.
 
And I’m a pretty good searcher myself, but twice in the last two months have had several long search sessions, some of which took two or three days to complete – researching getting a puppy and planning a vacation.

First, we want to thank Microsoft for comparing us to Tiger Woods in any endeavour, however indirectly.  Then we want to hear from you.

Do 46% of your searches take 20 minutes or more?

That’s the stat we just can’t believe.  Our premise, remember, is that today’s search is actually pretty darn good, so we doubt Microsoft can come up with the quantum leap in performance necessary to persuade people to stop using Google.  If half of searches really do take people 20+ minutes, however, maybe Microsoft has a point.

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