Investing

Microsoft Regaining Market Share in Search (MSFT, YHOO, GOOG, TWX, IACI)

If someone told you that good old Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) was actually regaining its market share in search, would you believe them?  If you did believe it, you’d at least want proof.  This actually happened, at least according to comScore.  You can see the full table in the press release.  The JUNE 2006 market share for online search saw a drop in market share for Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and for Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO).  IAC Interactive’s (NASDAQ:IACI) Ask Network held its share at 5% and Time Warner’s (NYSE:TWX) saw a slight drop. 

Before you throw the towel in or make any longer-term projections you need to consider a couple things.  First is that all of these search and other online measurements are wildly different from source to source.  That doesn’t mean the results are inaccurate, but the data is based on samplings and calculations that are different from source to source.  The second item to note is that there is always some drift on a month to month comparison.  But Microsoft has to be happy to see its market share of search from 10.3% in MAY to 13.2% in JUNE.

comScore does note that the significant increase at Microsoft (2.9 points and 36% in volume) is in part due to Live Search Club, a program launched by Microsoft in late May to engage and reward users of Live Search. 

Once again, this data varies wildly on a month to month comparison, as well as from source to source.

Jon C. Ogg
July 16, 2007

Jon Ogg can be reached at jonogg@247wallst.com; he does not own securities in the companies he covers.

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