Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Microsoft: we want more people to use Live Search

Let's recap the Live Search related announcements made by Microsoft over the past couple weeks. First, an incentive was announced that gives back to users a chunk of their purchase price for an item they found via Live Search. Second, when a user visits a non-existent page at, they are presented with a custom Live Search box to try their search again, or search the web. Third, a tie-up between HP and Microsoft was announced, the particulars of which included every HP computer bundled with the Windows Live Search toolbar. Now this:
"You search, Microsoft donates: update to Search and Give".

I think this last move makes it official - Microsoft is desperate to wean people away from their current search engine of choice. To take a dictum from the dating world and apply it to marketing, desperation has no bedfellows.

Why is there no news - official or in a blog - about how much better the search results are with Live? Why is there no ad campaign that touts the differentiating features of Live over its competitors? Why does Microsoft's brass think that doling out $$ is the only way to get people to switch? I can't remember the Mozilla Foundation giving $$ away, and look, Firefox's market share is almost up to 20%.

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