free html hit counter Microsoft Gets the Once Over - John Battelle's Search Blog

Microsoft Gets the Once Over

By - January 14, 2007

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.

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12 thoughts on “Microsoft Gets the Once Over

  1. smithee says:

    >>is the line “don’t underestimate Microsoft” starting to ring a bit hollow these days?
    Yes, it is and I’m glad to see someone else mention it. I’m close to MS and a fan of the company, but they continue to underestimate the user shift to the web and web applications. Live is not enough and they have failed at search more than the 3 versions we usually give them. They need significant change and it doesn’t look like it’s coming anytime soon.

  2. Kamal Jain says:

    John, you should compare us on technical merit. In certain areas we have zoomed passed our competitors and in certain areas we have close the gap considerably. Overall we have raised the competition so much that the consumers are getting a way better value than they were getting a year ago.

  3. This illustrates everything that is wrong with the mentality of Newspapers – here was a chance to get thousands of views via blogs for them and their advertisers – and what do they do, they suddenly put up a log-in requirement.

    Here is an alternate link

    But before we predict Gloom and Doom – Dont forget it was only a few years ago that Yahoo was in the same position Google is in today.

    Anything could CHANGE in a few years – AS HISTORY HAS SHOWN MANY MANY TIMES

  4. nmw says:

    I’m amazed that M$ was able to acquire “live” in almost all TLDs. In 50 years this may very well be what “Life” magazine was 50 years ago. Still, there *are* a couple gaps….

    Google was smart to grab the *entire* territory, but then again Google is a media titan, right?

    ;D nmw

  5. Alex says:

    I don’t see that much difference between MS and IBM these days.

    Big…slow…yesterday’s news.

    Not run very efficiently either contrary to what they would have people reading their annual reports believe.

    Ballmer’s a cartoon character. “Silent Sam” Palmisano is there but who knows what he does other than collect his paycheck.

    Here’s something to ponder if someone was thinking of buying services or products from one of these companies.

    Try this simple test.
    Pretend you want to get a job at IBM. Go into their jobs section and apply for 2-3 positions.

    Tedious and cumbersome and not very user friendly (lots of clicks).

    Now try it at a place like Business Objects. Sleek, user friendly, and efficient.

    Now if you were hiring either of these companies, which one would you want to design a solution for you.

    And try navigating the IBM website. Massive. Cumbersome. Inside the company, word has it that it takes 4-6 months to update their site with approaved changes.

    Again. The point is, look at how a company operates some of the simple things before deciding whether to buy their products or services.

  6. Alex says:

    Btw, it’s fun to see a company poke fun at itself.




  7. nmw says:

    Is Google different than MS or IBM in that regard? I’ve heard they didn’t show up to a trial when they had been accused of something — and the reason they gave for not showing up was that they thought it was spam (or something like that).

  8. John says:

    “don’t underestimate Microsoft” – no, I don’t think this is ringing hollow. Look at X-box in the U.S. – it’s finally turned the corner and I think profitable, and is #2 player in the U.S. space – out from not even being in the business 5 years ago. Maybe with Sony’s miststeps with the PS3, Microsoft could be #1 ? Or maybe, with the success of the Wii, Sony may be relegated to #3?, behind Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony?

    Google is a much tougher competitor, so it will take time. Whenever I see a Google presentation from a PC and see it go into the screen saver mode and see Windows XP, that reminds me that Microsoft is still relevant. Never count out a company as profitable s Microsoft. Don’t count out a company with $40B in revenue and generating PROFIT of $1 B/month.

  9. Jeff says:

    Just a quick note, the PageViews in referenced article is a bad metric. As the use of AJAX grows, pageviews mean less and less. It’s getting to be like the old “hits” metric. Metrics need to evolve in order to stay relevant, and page views needs to be retired.

    A better metric than page views is time spent on site per visit. We need something that captures how much user attention is being spent on the property.

  10. It is funny.. You watch the biz news and they can create quite a story out of MSN vs Google and the search war… There is no war! Crazy

  11. Brent says:

    I never liked microsoft. Google is a much tougher competitor like you said.