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Microsoft Backtracks On Timetable To Beat Google

Microsoft Corp. has tempered the chest-beating of its European president who said last week that the software giant's online search engine would be "more relevant" in the U.S. market than Google.

The statement by Neil Holloway left some search industry experts scratching their heads, wondering why Holloway would make a prediction that establishes a timetable for releasing what would amount to hefty advancements in MSN Search.

Ken Moss, general manager for Web search at MSN, said in the company's blog that Microsoft wasn't making any predictions in its competition with Google, which Microsoft executives say is among their top Internet rivals.

"We won't try to predict the progress of our competitors and so we won't forecast when we might take the lead, but this is a long term game and we are committed to helping drive the next wave of innovation in search for our customers," Moss said.

However, Christopher Payne, vice president of search at MSN, is scheduled to show "some intriguing improvements" to the service this week at ETech in San Diego, Moss said.

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