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October 28, 2006

Microsoft wants your searches, just read your newspaper

Posted by David Hunter at 5:36 PM ET.

comScore rates the Microsoft sites as the most popular Web property, but they still have Microsoft and Yahoo continuing to lose ground in search popularity to Google. Not to worry - Microsoft really, really wants your Web searches and ran full page ads in major newspapers to prove it:

On Friday, Microsoft bought up advertising space online and in print across a range of newspapers. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, Seattle P-I, and San Jose Mercury News are among those feature the full-page ad.

“Before we begin, let us state the obvious. We’re late to the game. We admit it. But instead of shrugging our shoulders and becoming a footnote in search history, we’ve decided to write a few new chapters. Because, quite frankly, it’s just the beginning. In fact, 7 million new pages are added to the Internet every day,” the ad reads.

The humble text follows a banner headline of: “Why on earth does the world need another search engine.” The advertisement also mentions a number of Windows Live-specific features, such as the Slide Bar for simplifying search results and an image hover for previewing pictures.

“We don’t watch the same TVs we watched 40 years ago and we certainly don’t use the same PCs we did 20 years ago,” Microsoft says. “The point is, there’s a lot of innovating left to be done. We’re in this for the long haul – search is just a baby in the technology schoolyard and it can only get better. So is Live Search a step in that direction? That’s for you to decide.”

Only time will tell whether Microsoft can win back users…

Indeed. Since the only dead tree newspaper I read is the local weekly, I have to wonder on purely anecdotal grounds if it wouldn’t be more efficacious to advertise the heck out of Windows Live Search on Microsoft’s own number one rated Web properties. The article also quotes Hitwise’s latest search stats which have Microsoft splitting with “Other” the 17.3% left after Google and Yahoo are through.

Filed under Coopetition, General Business, Google, Live Search, Marketing, Microsoft, Online Services, Windows Live, Yahoo

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