Avi Muchnick

"My name in large, bold font."

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You can’t compete if you’re not solving a new problem

From this TechCrunch piece on how Microsoft is losing badly with Bing:

Bing is not a bad search engine. I repeat: Bing isnot a bad search engine. But when you’re wondering directions to a place, shopping for something new, or just curious about what this or that means, you’re likely not thinking to yourself: “Oh, I’ll Bing that.” No, no, no. You Google that sucker. Because Google is a verb. And Bing is not.

Exactly right. Google is literally a part of people’s vocabularies at this point and Microsoft is trying to compete with them without solving any new problems.

  • It’s not lowering consumer costs. Google is free to use.
  • It’s not offering a better user experience. Google is relatively simple and the ads aren’t too obtrusive.

And most importantly:

  • It’s not offering better search results. 

Microsoft isn’t solving any problems by offering an alternative search engine. Google wasn’t broken. Or at least not broken enough to drive users to try multiple search engines. Those days are long gone.

This war isn’t really a search engine war anyway. It’s an advertising network war and search is just the lure to bring targeted eyeballs that can be sold to advertisers.

If Microsoft really wanted to innovate, instead of chasing after a 10-year market leader in computational search on a purely “I want to play too” basis, it should have set it’s sights on new waters: Social search. Instead of investing in Facebook and sinking $9 billion into Bing, it should have bought Facebook in 2007 and attacked the advertising network war from the social front instead.

Because ultimately, there’s going to be one winner in this advertising network war between Google and Microsoft, as social search becomes more and more relevant.

And that’s Facebook.

  1. avimuchnick posted this