Microsoft (MSFT) is about to release the newest version of its search technology. Of course, it works better than the current version. That might give it a chance to gain some ground against Google (GOOG) and Yahoo! (YHOO) is the search engine market.
Microsoft has about 12% of the US search share. Google has over 50% and Yahoo! about 20%. The FT reports that "the new version has specialised content in the entertainment, shopping, health and local categories." The company has determined that these are the areas where its customers have the most interest.
Microsoft has to keep working on its search program. If it does not keep updating the product, the market will see it as a surrender. But, unfortunately, the work is somewhat futile. The share of search in fairly stable in the US and Europe, although Google still makes small gains. In Russia and China. local search companies lead the market, but it is unlikely that the Microsoft improvement will change that.
Search may be strategic for Microsoft as its takes more of its software online. But, declaring that something is strategic does not matter when it is dying.
Douglas A. McIntyre