10 Reasons Why Microsoft Has a Chance to Dominate the Web

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-11-12 Print this article Print

News Analysis: Microsoft may not top the list of companies seen as having the ability to dominate the Web, but it might deserve it. The company is big, it seems focused and, thanks to some of its many offerings, it has the apps to make it happen.

In the software space, Microsoft reigns supreme. There's no denying it. But online, it's a much different story. The software giant has, so far, been unable to supplant Google as the supreme company on the Internet. It's trying, for sure, but most folks believe that the chances of Microsoft actually beating Google are slim.

But that might not be true.

Google is still leading online, but there are indications that Microsoft might be surging. The company recently announced that it has pulled Wolfram Alpha data into its Bing search engine. It has added several features to Bing to enhance its appeal. And Microsoft has done a fine job of delivering online services that rival some of Google's.

In other words, the online battle isn't over. And there's a real chance that Microsoft could dominate the Web. Here's why:

1. The Yahoo factor

Perhaps more than any other reason, Microsoft's deal with Yahoo might contribute heavily to the software giant's ability to capitalize on the online world. With Bing alone, Microsoft struggles to reach 10 percent market share. With the help of Yahoo, Microsoft can double its share in the space. That puts Bing in front of more people. It helps Bing attract more advertisers. And it puts Google on notice that it has a real competitor.

2. Bing is the thing

Prior to the release of Microsoft Bing, the company was an also-ran in search. Live Search simply didn't provide enough benefit to justify its use. And the vast majority of Web users went to Google and stayed there. But Bing is a different story. It has several features, including visual search, that make it an ideal alternative. In my experience, the search is on par with Google's. It's definitely worth trying out.

3. Remember Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer has been taking a beating from all sides. The security community had issues with Internet Explorer. Consumers have been switching to Firefox. And the enterprise is wondering how much longer it will stick with Microsoft's browser. But IE is still in a strong position in the browser market, and IE 8 has been welcomed with open arms. Microsoft can use that to help its other Web properties. Internet Explorer might be old, but it isn't inconsequential.

4. Wolfram Alpha, anyone?

Adding Wolfram Alpha to Bing is no small thing. The feature allows users to find all kinds of interesting content that only Wolfram Alpha is capable of delivering. For example, users can find nutritional information on food with a simple query. That adds far more value to Bing. And it also helps Microsoft compete more effectively in the market.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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