“Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates said current Internet search-engine technology is ‘a joke,’ and promised better features in two to three years. But the head of the software giant, in an event on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum here late Friday, acknowledged that Microsoft had stumbled in its own search-engine efforts. He said the company had been ‘stupid as hell’ to let Google take the lead in the search market,” Peter Loftus and Taska Manzaroli report for Dow Jones Newswires.

“Separately, Gates said Microsoft was ‘certainly working hard’ to release a new computer operating system, dubbed Longhorn, in 2006. ‘It won’t be a radical shift, but it will be clearly an improvement on Windows,’ the ubiquitous operating system, Gates said,” Loftus and Manzaroli report.

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MacDailyNews Take: Of course, Gates doesn’t mention Apple’s Spotlight search technology slated for release “in the first half” of this year. With “Longhorn” long overdue, stripped-down, and now being described by Gates as not “a radical shift, but clearly an improvement on Windows,” Apple is sitting very pretty with their current Mac OS X 10.3.7 “Panther” (heck, they were sitting pretty with Mac OS X 10.2 “Jaguar”) and will soon be in an even better position with Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger.” Apple leads, Wintel follows, as usual. Find out more about Apple’s soon-to-be-released Mac OS X “Tiger” here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple CEO Steve Jobs: Mac OS X ‘Tiger’ will ship ‘long before Longhorn’ – January 11, 2005
Thurrott: Apple copying Microsoft’s Longhorn search features with Mac OS X ‘Spotlight’ – December 15, 2004
Microsoft’s Longhorn fantasy vs. Apple’s Mac OS X reality – September 14, 2004
Is Microsoft’s stripped-down ‘Longhorn’ worth waiting for? – September 10, 2004
Microsoft to gut ‘Longhorn’ in attempt to ship in 2006; Avalon faces knife – August 27, 2004
Analyst: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger ‘going to have quite a lead on Longhorn’ in search technology – July 02, 2004
PC Magazine: Microsoft ‘Longhorn’ preview shows ‘an Apple look’ – May 06, 2004