Posted May 8, 2009 12:00 am by with 5 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

Someone is finally stepping up to the plate. I’ve been longing for Yahoo to care enough to challenge the Google empire, but it looks like Microsoft’s CEO is the one with the stones to do it. Steve Ballmer, in his speech at Stanford, says that Microsoft is going to have to become “more disruptive in search” in order to attempt to catch up to Google.

Ballmer realizes how big of an underdog Microsoft really is to Google. Microsoft doesn’t have the economies of scale or the money that Google that has helped keep them where they are in search.

“We’re not just a No. 2 or 3 player,” Ballmer said. “The No. 1 player is a lot bigger than us.”

What advantage does Microsoft have? According to Ballmer, Microsoft has less revenue to protect and can afford to take more risks. And that’s exactly what they plan on doing. I think we can all point out what areas Microsoft has failed in their attempts to offer a unique search experience, but what is important is they are learning from those mistakes. Ballmer will have you believe they are doing more than just throwing a bunch of ideas at a wall and seeing what sticks, but it sounds like that is exactly what they plan to do.

“We’ll try some new products that are going to be a disaster,” he said, pointing to Microsoft Bob as the canonical example from the company’s past. “It wasn’t terrible . . . it flopped miserably, but I am glad we did it.”

If Ballmer stays true to his word, this should be an exciting year for Microsoft—let’s just hope they start getting a few more ideas that stick.

(via CNET)

  • Sounds like it was a great speech. It’s good that Microsoft is going to take more risks with search – competition will make things better. I’m not complaining about Google though, they’re doing a good job.

  • I like the we’ve messed up but we’re learning stance – it makes me take them a bit more seriously. Interesting.

  • Pingback: » Pandia Search Engine News Wrap-up 10()

  • Sigh…. When are they going to learn that the problem is they need to get BETTER at search. You would think after exhausting and failing at the the options of “getting worse”, “spending more”, “changing the name”, “making the search page have big colorful pictures in the background” and “buying someone who has a clue” they would have come to the logical end that they need to actually develop a product that provides value for consumers over their competitors. No, instead they’ve decided they need to be “disruptive” and “try some new products that are going to be a disaster” (which I don’t think is much a change from 90% of their entire company track record from a product development standpoint.)


    Terry Howard’s last blog post..Social Media Marketing: Network Responsibly

  • what i find utterly amazing is that the company responsible for the windows operating system (love it or hate it) is reduced to “throwing a bunch of ideas at a wall and seeing which ones stick” in the first place.