MSFT Announces European Search Center Plans

Short deadline in undetermined spot

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Never mind advertising, upgrades, or even additional user bribes – when it comes to Live Search’s market share in Europe, Microsoft is going to pull out at least some of the stops and open a new search technology center.

The center will be based on a three-year old predecessor in Beijing.  Unfortunately, the cost and location of the fresh structure remain unannounced, and the date of its opening has only been narrowed to Microsoft’s "fiscal year 2009" (or July of this year through June of next).

It’s quite possible that all of these factors remain up in the air; this may be a spur-of-the-moment move in response to the agreement between Google and Yahoo. 

But Microsoft is at least sure of what it wants to do with the search technology center.  Kevin Johnson, the company’s president of platforms and services, stated, "Microsoft has 68 percent reach to Internet users throughout Europe through our online assets and strengths in display advertising; however, we’re not yet where we’d like to be in search in this critical geography. . . .  [W]e see the investment in this new Search Technology Center as an important step in doubling down on our long-term investments."

Stockholders have responded to the development with near-indifference; Microsoft’s stock is up by 0.59 percent, while the market as a whole has risen a tiny bit less.  In terms of both results and reactions, it looks like we’re stuck in another wait-and-see situation.

MSFT Announces European Search Center Plans
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