Astute web users (or perhaps those not glued to Google!) may have noticed Microsoft Live Search changing to Bing back in June 09: a much more solid and accurate search offering from Microsoft and a step forward in their ongoing battle against Google (hey, we’re #4 and #7 for “recruitment website design” so we like it! 🙂 )
You may recall Microsoft courting Yahoo last year only to be rebuffed.
Yesterday (July 29) Microsoft inked a deal with Yahoo to provide Bing as the search engine for Yahoo sites.
Essentially, this means we now have 2 major search engines: Google and Bing. Only time will tell whether Google will lose any marketshare to this new joint offering. We’ll be keeping a close eye on our analytics to see how this plays out.
This could be seen as the end of an era – “Web 1.0” if you like. Yahoo was the original start point for many web surfers, starting out as a directory of all known web pages and morphing into a search engine. Will it ultimately be swallowed up by Microsoft now that its founder Jerry Yang has less control? Only time will tell, but I for one would not be surprised.
Microsoft clearly has Google’s search and online apps in its sights just as Google is gunning for a share of Microsoft’s desktop market with Google Docs/Apps, Chrome, Android and even launching its own operating system to compete head on with Microsoft Windows. Owning Yahoo would increase Microsoft’s search footprint: an area totally dominated by Google. Microsoft has also recently announced free online versions of Office Word, Excel etc. to compete directly with Google Docs/Apps.
Competition is healthy and I think Google are a bit too powerful online right now (just as Microsoft are offline). Interesting times ahead!