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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Web search technology and services still have a long way to go to fulfill users' needs, executives at Microsoft and Yahoo said on Tuesday.
"It's still early in this category," Christopher Payne, the vice president in charge of search at Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Internet division, said at the Reuters Technology Summit.
These statements were likely made with an awareness of PR, but they are hardly nonsense. If I were Y or MSN, I'd be very encouraged right now. Recent evidence from multiple sources suggests that, not surprisingly, G's grip on search market share is slipping, and that users are increasingly getting more used to using multiple search resources (just as more sophisiticated users, like WW members, do).
The consumer world is getting more sophisticated (slowly), and search is becomming more commoditized. Branding and distribution will play increasingly important roles in determining market share, as will meaningful product innovation.
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