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Depending on how you look at it, Jim Lanzone's task when he gets out of bed each morning is either near impossible or a fantastic challenge.
His main rival, Google, enjoys a market share of 79 per cent – about 35 times greater than his. Of the two companies that stand between him and Google, one is the largest technology company in the world, and the other one of the most valuable brands on the internet.
The man who "believes passionately" in what he calls his alternative search engine, could, quite reasonably, want to stick his head in a long, white box.
Ask.com Chief Executive Jim Lanzone Interviewed [technology.timesonline.co.uk]
But this says it all: "In the past three months, it has run an aggressive – and expensive – ad campaign aimed at painting Google as a Big Brother-ish bully that stifles web users' choice of information."
Ask still believes that it's simply a marketing battle, and a negative one at that; all the 'innovations' are about turning Ask into a money-grabbing portal, nothing significant about technology.
Lanzone is selling a turkey; nothing wrong with that, except that he's standing at the caviar counter.
In fact, reading the whole interview, I'm not convinced he's on the same planet as the rest of us.
A brave man; Good Luck to him.
What part of the interview left you with that impression?
With the exception of MSN - which is in bad shape right now - search really is all about marketing - he's right. I read the WSJ and EVERY day they have at least one article on what Google is doing. That kind of "marketing" is extremely helpful. You can't buy that kind of popularity.
Ask has its problems but so does Google. Is Google that much better than Ask - not in my opinion. In fact, I think the best move Microsoft could make is to buy Ask. Working from that search engine, rather than from scratch, would really make this a three horse race.