In this SJMN piece. Is it just me, or is the line “don’t underestimate Microsoft” starting to ring a bit hollow these days?
From the piece:
According to comScore Media Metrix, the total unique audience that visited Microsoft’s U.S. Web sites in December 2006 was roughly 117 million, unchanged from the previous year. Google is fast catching up, with its number of unique visitors up 21 percent to 113 million.
Microsoft’s page views, an approximation of how long visitors spend at its sites, was down 12 percent in December to 18 billion, according to the research firm. Google’s page views were up 90 percent to 13 billion.
Microsoft has steadily lost ground in search, despite developing its own search engine in 2004. As of November, Microsoft’s share of Internet searches has fallen to 8 percent. Two years ago, when MSN search was released in beta, Microsoft share’s of U.S. searches stood at 14 percent, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.
Microsoft’s Internet slide is reflected in its online sales. During the quarter ended Sept. 30, sales for the online business unit were $539 million, down 5 percent in a year. Google, in cruel comparison, reported revenue of $2.69 billion, an increase of 70 percent.