Microsoft Brings Multiple Resources to the Web Battle

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-11-12
 
 
 

10 Reasons Why Microsoft Has a Chance to Dominate the Web


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.

Microsoft Brings Multiple Resources to the Web Battle


5. Bing Maps is stellar

Bing Maps might seem like a side effort, but it's not. The feature is easily one of the most viable services in Microsoft's wide range of offerings. One of the key elements of Bing Maps is its "aerial view" option. Users can find great views of neighborhoods, special areas and more. It's a great feature with a lot of draw that has caused more users to consider Bing as a viable search alternative to Google.

6. Focus on advertising

Microsoft realizes that a key to its success online lies in advertising. Over the past year or so, it has done a better job of offering companies a more viable advertising platform. And in the process, many companies are realizing that Microsoft is a real competitor to Google. That's a problem for the search giant.

7. Take on the halo effect

There's a key element in Microsoft's strategy that might go overlooked: The Xbox 360 will soon allow users to network on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Last.fm. Considering that the Xbox 360 is so tied to Microsoft and, in turn, Bing, that could draw some users away from Google as Microsoft integrates its online properties with the many products it already offers.

8. Go to the Web with software

Microsoft understands (perhaps better than most companies) that the future is in the cloud. Already, Microsoft has made inroads by preparing Office for the Internet. There's a good chance the company might bring Windows to the Web to compete with Google's Chrome OS. But until that happens, Microsoft seems to have a firm grip on its strategy of bringing software to the Internet. So far, at least, its decisions have made sense.

9. Microsoft sees the future

On those lines, it's important to remember that Microsoft finally "gets" the Web. The company that had at one time allowed Google to grow from under its nose is now doing a far better job of confronting the changing Internet landscape. Bing, just one of many compelling Microsoft Web services, has contributed to Microsoft's resurgence online. Going forward, things might only get better.

10. Microsoft has the cash

Microsoft has the money on hand to invest in just about anything it wants. It can also acquire any company that might solidify its position on the Internet. Most importantly, it can withstand any acquisition battle it wages with Google. And since Google can't out-muscle Microsoft on cash, the company will need to try to beat it on service. That might not be so easy any longer.

Simply put, I think we need to start watching out for Microsoft. It has a chance to take over the Internet. Perhaps not soon. But eventually.

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