Follow us:

Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

December 1, 2006 at 11:23 AM

Two Microsofties chime in on search wars

Search engine statistics come out every month or so, but for some reason the latest round of numbers has seen some unusual attention and debate. Maybe it’s because the SearchEngineWatch site posted an analysis of the numbers. What’s most interesting to me is reading what two Microsoft employees have to say about why the company’s search engine is regularly losing market share.

According to comScore, Nielsen//NetRatings and Hitwise, Microsoft ranked third in the search engine business in October with a market share that ranged from 8.8 percent to 11.7 percent.

That drew some comments from Erik Selberg of Microsoft’s Windows Live search team. Writing in his blog, Selberg said that when he first arrived at the company, his bosses wanted to beat Google in relevance after just two years. That didn’t happen, and the team is still debating how long it’ll take to achieve that goal. At least Microsoft search is no longer laughable, Selberg writes.

Right now, he writes, Google wins on brand and quality:

Here’s the honest truth… Microsoft will continue to lose share until it can make Live.com something people chose versus just the IE (Internet Explorer) default. That will happen when the average person starts to see Live.com as a bit better than Google.

Microsoft developer Dare Obasanjo chimes in with a post entitled “Competing with Google is like the war in Iraq.” Obasanjo disagrees that beating Google means having better search results or relevance. It’s only about brand and recognition now.

Google’s brand is synonymous with search, he writes. And as far as distribution goes, Google has effectively made itself the primary search engine for many people who search directly through toolbars in their browsers.

As far as the Iraqi war comparison, Obasanjo writes, “As I read Erik’s post, one phrase kept repeating itself in my head over and over again; ‘Stay the Course…Stay the Course…Stay the Course’.”

Comments | More in Microsoft

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►