MSN Search Playing In Silicon Valley Sandbox

    August 8, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

They’re a distant third to Google and Yahoo, but Steve Ballmer says they’re going to be a search contender. Tonight they’ll tell you why over drinks in San Jose.

Can MSN Search be a big enough player to garner your media spend? Tell us why in WebProWorld.

Many SES 2005 attendees in San Jose will spend the first evening of the conference combating jet lag with the Dan Band at the Ask Jeeves opening night party. But a few may accept an invitation from the folks from Microsoft instead.

“Please join us for an evening with MSN Search,” reads the invitation on the MSN Search blog. Cocktails and appetizers have been promised; the event will be in Mountain View, not far away from the Googleplex, a facility that weighs on the minds of Mr. Ballmer and the rest of the Redmond crew.

At the event, MSN Search executives will chat about their service, its goals, and its strategy. The blog entry says Christopher Payne, VP of MSN Search, Ken Moss, GM of Web Search, and Dane Glasgow, PUM of MSN Client, will be speaking. A number of MSN Search staffers, probably the folks who do a lot of coding and QA, will be available as well.

For advertisers tempted to dismiss Microsoft out of hand, consider the company’s history. Microsoft has been late to the party a few times before. Remember “640k ought to be enough for anybody?” That was 1981. Bill Gates may not be omniscient (and may not even have spoken those words), but his company has demonstrated many times they can overtake nearly any market within three versions of a product.

The Ask Jeeves event should be fun. Ignore Microsoft at your peril.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.