Microsoft Bings Uphill Fight vs. Google

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-03-27 Print this article Print

"Amazing, MS actually thinks it understands this problem space. MS does not realize that it will never solve these problems by using brute force tactics (throwing tons of money and engineers at it) or stealing it from someone else. Oh and even though MS stole its way to the top, it can't stay there forever because sooner or later, real innovators will knock it down."

Or, in a self-described Microsoft shareholder's words:

"Mehdi has been in charge of MSN and Search for a decade or longer. After a while the excuses ring hollow and I have to think it is time for a change at the top. Msft/MSN has done nothing to innovate in on-line services since the mid-90s. Everything is reactionary; there is no vision and there is too much $$ from Windows and Office to paper over the errors. IMHO it is time to fire the coach and bring in someone with a vision and strategic plan."

Despite the new features and technologies and market share growth from 8 percent to 11.5 percent in less than a year, Bing is still facing a Sisyphean task in challenging Google. Microsoft's decadelong failures in the digital realm, in which the company lost billions, continue to plague the company.

We can't help but also wonder whether Microsoft's reputation is still reeling from the DOJ antitrust case from more than a decade ago. If that legal stain on Microsoft's reputation keeps Bing from gaining significant traction, it would be a shame.

We believe Weitz, Mehdi, search whiz Qi Lu and others working on Bing have the right idea on where search is headed. But Bing won't get there if the anti-Microsoft sentiment continues to creep in and the Google Creep-the company's spread across the entire computer industry-continues.   

Enderle Group analyst Rob Enderle offered eWEEK this take:

"Since Google is already dominant, this is a bigger problem for Microsoft who needs to get people to try and then stay with their search offering. As Apple and politics (unfortunately) show us, it isn't enough to just be out there and suggest you might be a little better; you have to make folks distrust or dislike what they are currently using, otherwise they won't move. Think of the fax machine. It has been obsolete for nearly two decades, yet folks still regularly use it as a way to share documents.

"Bing is a good product, but then Google is adequate, and until large numbers of people see Google as inadequate, they won't move. This is actually more perception than reality. It really doesn't matter whether Google is bad and Bing is good; it matters that people perceive that to be the case." 

How can Bing effectively challenge Google? It won't happen on Google News, where readers lurk to knock down Microsoft, the biggest search upstart to ever challenge Google.

For Bing to succeed, it needs to turn the tables on Google, for example, by helping the government prosecute Google for anti-competitive practices. Hence, the proxy war.

Yet even as government wolves darken Google's door on issues such as Google Buzz, Google Book Search and its generally gluttonous growth on the Web, widespread anti-Microsoft sentiment persists.

This is wild ride. Strap in and enjoy.


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel