Follow up to: Is Redmond Adopting Win-Win Strategies?

Last May on this blog, I called readers' attention to a new Redmond strategy whereby Microsoft was ready to invest IP-capital into start-ups. Time has come for step #2 in the strategy implementation: Co-opting European and Asian governments as proxies for Microsoft strategy. According to Brad Smith, general counsel with the company, "By extending the reach of IP Ventures through government agencies, we believe new businesses will bring more technology to market, faster, and they'll also contribute back to local economies."

Probably, folks at Microsoft have understood that , outside the US, entrepreneurial culture, or lack thereof, ought to be complemented by government action. Not to mention the good deeds the company may be generating at a time when its redress from monopolist behavior is received with skepticism.

Original posting: Is Redmond Adopting Win-Win Strategies?

Can search follow the browser?

In early December 2005, Bill Gates said to an Indian audience that Microsoft would share some advertising revenue from its search engine with users. This would be a move aimed at Google and its search users. However, to succeed, Microsoft needs to come up with a search infrastructure whose results are deemed by users at least as good as Google's. Indeed, the few cents per search a search engine can share with its users are not enough to make one switch for a less satisfying set of results--unless fraud is involved. Speaking of fraud, any such revenue sharing mechanism should be built impervious to fraud.

So, if Microsoft can deliver:
  • a search engine whose results are as good as Google's if not better;
  • a search infrastructure to support searches beyond Google's span;
  • an economic model enticing for all parties involved in a search;
  • a mechanism to protect the above business model from abuse;
then Microsoft search will become a true Internet destination.

Moreover, if Google does not become more for its search users before Microsoft delivers on the above points, search may well follow the browser.

Addendum 2/9/06

Should Yahoo thank Microsoft for the hint? Have a look at this excerpt from
Yahoo wants to stop losing search market share to Google, and now it's asking users to do something about it.

"Yahoo! is considering launching a program to reward people who make Yahoo! their primary search engine," says a company-sponsored survey first posted on the Web site of

People would receive a monthly reward if they do most of their searching on Yahoo! through a specialized tool bar. Among the rewards being considered for the program are ad-free Yahoo! mail, unlimited email storage, frequent flier miles and discounts on Yahoo!'s personal and music services.