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Microsoft's Endless Quest for Search

Steve Ballmer is, apparently, a man obsessed with and possessed by search. In case you missed it, the Microsoft CEO said last week that his company could sink as much at $11 billion into search over the next five years -- which actually turns out to be a lot of money, even for Microsoft. Ballmer says that part of Microsoft's problem in search (and in general) is that it's getting fat and lazy.

We agree, but we'd add that search is the windmill to Microsoft's Don Quixote. The software titan would be better off figuring out how to transition its old-school Windows and Office franchises into the cloud (something it has been trying to do with, we think, mixed success) and determining how it's going to deal with the rise of netbooks and mobile devices (something it has, we'd say, not done very well at all). Note to Microsoft: quit looking so hard for success in search, or at least in consumer search. This quest is taking you in the wrong direction.

Posted by Lee Pender on June 23, 2009 at 11:55 AM