Home What's Brewing? New Search Chief in Redmond

New Search Chief in Redmond

Qi Lu, a former Yahoo executive, is about to take over as president of Microsoft’s Online Services Group this January. As a group president reporting directly to CEO Steve Ballmer, Lu will be the highest-ranking Chinese American in Microsoft history. While at Yahoo, Lu flew coach with his junior engineers, even after he had enough seniority to fly business class on international flights.

And yet, Lu is named as an inventor on at least 39 U.S. patents. Early reports put the figure at 20. A former colleague of Lu’s said he graduated near or at the top of his high-school class in China.

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Lu wants to improve Live.com’s “search product quality,” and build a coherent advertising platform. There’s also no hubris from the engineer — he acknowledges the obvious, which is that Google will be a giant challenge. Source: Microsoft, Seattle

Q: Where do you see the opportunities for Microsoft in the search and online space?

Lu: Microsoft’s search product quality is improving at a very, very fast rate, that there are great foundations there.

The second opportunity is to continue building a very powerful advertising platform. Microsoft has made a series of strategic acquisitions, and also built a bunch of internal technologies and products. The key is to put all those assets together to build powerful, highly scalable advertising platforms. [24×7]

IamSt.Nick.com Just In Time for the Holidays
How do you get that special person just what they want for Christmas without just coming out and asking them, thus ruining the surprise?

Two laid off Seattle Internet workers are coming to the holiday rescue.

Iamstnick.com was built out of necessity. Creators Matt Steckler and Andres Krogh were jobless. They were let go in September from an internet security firm.

A couple of weeks ago, they began brainstorming an idea for a Web site that allows shoppers to set up an anonymous call to the person they’re trying to buy for, asking that person what they want for Christmas.

The pair worked four days straight getting the site set up. They launched Iamstnick.com a week ago and, already, 10,000 first-time visitors have logged on.

Here’s how it works: Say you want to find out what Jill wants for the holidays. You go to the Web site and input Jill’s phone number and your e-mail address. Jill gets a phone call instantly and is asked to record a message saying what she wants. Sometime later, you are sent an e-mail with a link, letting you listen to Jill’s request.

Steckler and Krogh are already thinking ahead. They’re working on setting up a way for multiple people to listen to the same message so that family and friends can coordinate what they buy. [24×7]

Get more info in the Seattle24x7 blog