Live Search Sails With New Captain

    March 22, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

The Live Search product will no longer be living in the same house with all of the other Windows Live products. A new leader will take it over as Microsoft forms a new “beat Google” corporate group.

Live Search Sails With New Captain
Live Search Sails With New Captain

The Search and Ad Platform puts Live Search and adCenter together to focus on the common enemy: anyone who is taking money in search advertising.

Google ranks first and foremost in that list. Figures from comScore for February’s US search engine rankings showed Google gobbling up more than 48 percent of the market. Microsoft sites dipped to 10.5 percent for the same month.

If Microsoft’s fortunes improve, Satya Nadella could be the guy steering the company’s search flagship to the big X on the treasure map. Reuters noted how Nadella, a long-time Microsoft veteran, had picked up the leadership position for the new group.

The change comes as former head of search Chris Payne announced a few weeks ago he planned to ditch Microsoft in favor of launching a non-search startup company. That’s not a good sign, when the person charged with taking on the competition gets a good look at the opponent’s ship of the line and decides he’s better off in a rowboat.

ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley wrote that Nadella had formerly led Microsoft’s Dynamics ERP software lines. Nadella’s gain in the reorganization is senior VP Steven Sinofsky’s loss, as Live Search formerly reported to him.

Moving search and ads together at Microsoft seems to make sense. Matt Rosoff, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, said in Foley’s report, “I think it makes perfect sense to consolidate adCenter and Web search, and I’m only surprised it took Microsoft so long to do so.”

It could be that Microsoft wanted to find the right person for the task. Nadella has worked on a variety of technologies in Microsoft, but his listed experience won’t make anyone think he’s the search industry equivalent of Russell Crowe’s Lucky Jack when it comes to chasing down Google’s vessel of profits.