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Why Microsoft Will Always Suck at Search
Monday, May 19, 2008
So we are hearing more rumors of a second round of negotiations between Microsoft and Yahoo. It's obvious that the media, financial analysts and the like cannot live with the status quo. They need a story. Investors invest for a return.. it all revolves around the mighty dollar, not about the end consumer or what's best for the masses.

Fact: Microsoft dropped the ball with search in the past five years. Google came around and established an online ad platform that earned them billions of dollars. Microsoft being left out in the cold didn't like this feeling of emptiness. So they decided to focus on search... and failed miserably. Call it MSN, call it Live Search, just don't call it a success. Terrible product. Microsoft was third in market share in the Search space. The fact of the matter is that ASK was starting to step up and take away market share.. who knows had they continued their focus on mainstream search, they may have bumped Microsoft into the fourth spot on the search engine of choice.

Fact: The Search team at Microsoft are not nearly as innovative as Google, ASK, or Yahoo. Hence the need to purchase a competitor. For this reason alone Microsoft will continue to fail at search. They spend too much time worrying about acquisitions and other innovative companies instead of focusing on their own search product. Search will never be the main priority with Microsoft.

Fact: If (when) Microsoft acquires Yahoo, they will still be a distant number two to Google in Search. How long will it be until, the become leaders rather than followers in Search? According to this article from TechCrunch, Microsoft has a big announcement scheduled for this week. Apparently they have been working on their search algorithms and are getting "better and better at it", well that's not hard, it couldn't get any worse. What are they going to announce that they are going to be incorporating blended search results into their main index? Or perhaps they are going to announce a change to their search engine results page that will look more like the Yahoo SERP, or possibly ASK's.

Regardless I've been a frustrated user of MSN or Live Search or whatever you want to call it for a while now. I'm inclined to believe that they are doomed to fail in Search. They'll never be the prettiest girl at the dance when it comes to Search. Frankly, if Microsoft does indeed acquire Yahoo, there will be a lot more people who will jump over to Google, making Google an even more dominant player.


posted by Jody @ Monday, May 19, 2008  
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