A story from CNN about Microsoft wanting to basically became the new Google. Nothing's been fully developed yet, but it will be a company-wide effort to develop the technology.
"Any time Microsoft builds something into the operating system, they don't want to get that from anyone else," said analyst Matt Rosoff of Directions on Microsoft, an independent research group based in Kirkland, Washington.
Search results tailored to individual users based on a history of their interests and searches is one area that Microsoft is looking at, Koenigsbauer said.
Analysts said such a service would be ideal for Microsoft since it could leverage its control over the Windows operating system, which runs on more than 95 percent of the world's PCs.
Moreover, they said Microsoft's real motive is to build search into its various software products and most likely into the next Windows version, which is code-named Longhorn.
Gates has promised that Longhorn, which is expected to launch in 2005 or 2006, will include database technology to make it easier for users to track and find information on their computers.
"Long-term, all roads lead to Longhorn," Wilcox said.