Microsoft Search: New Name, Still Lame


[qi:004] After an unusually peaceful weekend, I returned to the world of blogs to find people buzzing about Microsoft (s MSFT), which is apparently going to rebrand its Live Search. The LiveSide Blog reports that company has just taken control of, which means either cloud or spider in Japanese. This is likely the first step in the rumored rebranding of Microsoft’s search efforts. It is taking a bit of self-control on my part to not be mean-spirited about this rumored effort. If true, it would be yet another sign of Microsoft’s bumbling efforts when it comes to search.

I am not sure that a new cool-sounding name is going to help much. If Microsoft wants to compete with Google (s GOOG) in search, it needs to show that it has a better mousetrap. Thus far it hasn’t really been able to deliver better search results than Google. Whenever I use Microsoft’s search, after trying it a few times, I give up and go back to Google. Don’t get me wrong: Google isn’t perfect, but it somehow gets the job done. If Google’s results are like a vinyl record, then Microsoft’s search delivers the performance of a much-used cassette tape. Microsoft has to get fidelity of its search results up, and not muck around with names, if it wants to prove its mettle.



The problem is that there’s no market appetite for evolutionary improvements in an existing brand. That’s the reason that companies like Black & Decker had to come up w/ premium brands to market their products to professional carpenters, electricians, etc. The reality is that has 99% IDENTICAL results with It’s made vast improvements in the last 2 years. However, the perception of Om is based on historical preferences. If MS wants to capture more eyeballs, they have to build a new brand and link to existing successful brands

Joe Panettieri

This is part of a bigger problem at Microsoft. The company that pioneered technology branding (Windows, Office) has completely lost its way with Web and online branding. Other than XBox Live, I can’t think of a strong Microsoft brand in the online world…


I’d actually be interested to see some kind of evidence to back that statement up. You may be right, it’s just in my own usage of both services I’ve found Live search to be just about equal with Google’s results now – and would say it passed Yahoo long ago.

Hmm, if that’s too generous than I would put Google at 95% accuracy, Live at 85% and Yahoo at 70%.

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