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Microsofts Ballmer says a "Big, Bold Bet" Needed to Beat Google

2:16 pm on May 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Ballmer: "Big, Bold Bet" needed to beat Google


He also pointedly named Google as the reason behind some of the spending. "Further development of adCenter is key - our goal is to create the web's largest advertising network, giving us an engine that will enable us to monetise our services and compete against Google."

AdCenter, which is expected to launch this summer, is Microsoft's response to Google's AdWords, the search giant's multi-billion dollar online advertising platform.

4:55 pm on May 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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our goal is to create the web's largest advertising network

That will require a LOT more market share then. Even buying Yahoo [webmasterworld.com] will only give them 20% of Google's network reach in the UK, and I am guessing other countries outside the US are even more Googlecentric.

Good to see they have plans though.

6:55 pm on May 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If I had a dollar for every time Ballmer made a wild, bold proclamation about what MSN is going to do...

Why doesn't he just shut up and actually accomplish something, instead of talking about it all the #*$!ing time?

MSN is going to do this... MSN will be that... In 6 months, MSN will be better than Google... MSN is blah-blah-blah.

7:46 pm on May 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"Big, Bold Bet"

More often than not, bets are LOST! so their of to a good start......again ;)

8:01 pm on May 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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A lot of people are being very negative about MS at the moment...I think they are making a really big push, and though some things are a bit questionable (live is still really slow), I reckon they might manage to turn things around quite a bit. So many people will use MSN just because it's the default search engine. And on a lot of keyterms I watch, MSN has much more relevant results than Google.

What they need is something really novel to get the technical community to switch over. I guess we'll wait to see if they manage it. Even if they don't - I wouldn't be surprised if they move up to 30-40% market share within a year after Vista is released.

2:52 am on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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balmer has given a ton of direction at microsoft and a lot of his ideas have translated into great products. this is not necessairly something to label just as hype--in any case, this can only be good for webmasters. In order for microsoft to succeed, they're going to have to given a reason for publishers and advertisers to join. While they won't compete in price alone, I can see that being a huge factor--microsoft would probably be prepared to take a huge loss in the short run to trample a little bit of google's market share.
3:46 pm on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I hope that Microsoft will make its "big, bold bet" to produce a search engine more competitive with Google. However, a cursory look at the current MSN Search, which I do not normally use, turns up three fundamental flaws that should never have made it past usability testing:

1. Compare the display at [google.com...] with the display at [search.msn.com....] Google presents a long, 55-space search box which by default searches the Web. In contrast, MSN Search does not include a search box! To search the Web, the user must click on "Web" to bring up a page with a search box that is only 30 spaces long. In the absence of any evidence that MSN results are better than Google results, why would anyone use MSN when it requires an additional click and lost time?

2. Google allows a user to increase the number of results per page to a maximum of 100. MSN Search permits users to select a maximum of only 50 results per page. I always change the default to the maximum. Quite often the most relevant and responsive websites do not appear in the top 50 results on either search engine, and sometimes they do not appear in the top 300 results. MSN wastes users' time by requiring additional clicks and delays.

3. A search box containing the current search terms appears at the top of the results page in Google, making it easy to modify a search that produces too many or off-point results. In contrast, the only search box on the MSN Search results page appears at the bottom. To modify an MSN search, it is necessary to scroll to the bottom of the results page, which wastes users' time.

9:45 am on May 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If MSN really wants to beat Google, they shouldn't be looking to for big bold bet... more a completely new paradigm.

something that of a Copernican Revolution (Kuhnian revolution as some call it)...the theory scientific progression (and market) that says at a certain point a progress is only attained with a complete paradigm shift.

ie: no matter how much Copernicus redid the numbers... the he couldn't get the sun revolving are the earth to make sense within what they knew of math and Astonomy. It took radical thinking and new model to make things progres...the earth actually revolves the sun. The rest is history...

The analogy I make is that it seems clear that MSN will never catch up as a me too. As in, "our search stuff is better". even if in the end that is TRUE (for wahtever benchmark)...they've already lost that game in the minds of consumers. and on the margin... its all basically the same now to the average netizen. That game is lost.

be like 7-UP---the UN cola. or like TIDE way back when -- "we aren't soap....we are soap for clothes...ie: LAUNDRY detergent".

MSN, imo, needs to leapfrog the search model into a new "blue ocean" market (free from mindshare competion). WEb 2.0 stuff makes this claim...maybe MSN should be looking to make their "big bold bet" in something completely different in that area. Dunno, I do know, if they are going to have the "largest Ad network"...they are going to need a better channel than MSN search to deliver it. Xbox seems good platform for that...but it still needs its web platform.

Needs something to buy? forget Yahoo... why not look to countries already doing things that a well beyond the curve in US? The should be looking East. Many large portals in Korea for example, are already reshaping their services around Web 2.0 formats. Yahoo Korea launched "HUB" search [webmasterworld.com] and Nate and Naver just launched "Blink" service (korean portals introduce Blink - Web 2.0 service [webmasterworld.com])...
and Cywold mini-hompy service was so successful...it was ported and finally launched stateside (ie: Lycos Planet, MSN Spaces). I know tons of smaller companies out here no one knows about either that pushing the envelope well beyond that of the big Korean portals as well.

If Ballmer is serious and they are spend more money... AND you want to beat google, you gotta stop playing their game... cause they are better at it. The game they COULD be playing (in regard to this market) imo...is gobble up some of the cool tech coming outta countries ahead of the curve before G does. That's a game MSN SHOULD know even better.

but again, that's just me.

so sayeth GrendelKhan{TSU}

5:22 pm on May 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hope AdCenter is not the type of "big bold" move they are talking about ---- huge stumble on that one.