Yusuf Mehdi speech at Goldman Sachs Internet conference

Yusuf Mehdi, head of Microsoft’s MSN division, spoke yesterday at the Goldman Sachs Internet conference at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. Audio of the speech is available online in Windows Media Audio and RealAudio formats. Some interesting comments on MSN Search throughout the talk. “All of our aspirations…pivot on on Hotmail and Messenger.” Why do you download a toolbar when everyone already has one? For integration into all of the MSN services of course. Search is front and center, but not the primary motivator for the install. MSN Search handles 2 billion queries a day. Over 10 million people…

MSN Search Beta

MSN has a beta version of its new search engine online. Better differentiation between paid and ranked search results. Categories are from Zeal (LookSmart), paid listings are from Overture, and ranked results are from Inktomi. Two of the three pieces are owned by Yahoo. Microsoft needs to step up and buy LookSmart. They are without a CEO. At around $2 a share their market capitalization is $214. Yes, Looksmart’s properties are mostly written in Java, but there is some C++ in there as well….