Ozzie hints at Microsoft's search future, downplays Yahoo

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Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie on Wednesday suggested that Microsoft has its own clear ideas on the next direction it will take in Internet search, downplaying any deal the company might still make with Yahoo in favor of highlighting Microsoft's own ambitions.

Speaking via webcast at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions conference in New York, Ozzie called Yahoo merely an "accelerator" to Microsoft's plans to improve its search engine -- which he said was one of three key factors to succeeding on the Web -- not its entire plan. In addition to having a strong search engine, Ozzie cited user engagement and a scalable ad platform as other requirements for having a successful and profitable Internet business.

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