January 31, 2005

Microsoft Not Integrating Desktop Search

I was hopeful when I spotted the title Microsoft Won't Bundle Desktop Search with Windows over at Threadwatch … hopeful that it meant that MS desktop search wouldn't be present. But the e-week article actually says:

"Microsoft Corp. has no immediate plans to integrate the MSN desktop search application into its operating system"

That doesn't mean Microsoft's desktop search won't be on the desktop, just that it won't be bundled with Windows … that is, integrated into the operating system as a part of Windows. That means that the same people who don't know what a browser is (they just click on the "e" to get to the Internet) may be searching from their desktops rather than at a search engine. And that means, given the preponderance of Windows in many countries, that Microsoft will have a great shot at dominating search as well as monetizing its own search. Unless, of course, its search ends up with really lousy results.

See? Search engine wars.

The one balancing factor here — that I can see right now — is that both Yahoo and Google have great branding. The other guys have some work to do here in the lead-up to MS desktop search being implemented on new computers. There could be other scenarios, but I don't want to put ideas into anyone's head. <grin>

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