Microsoft: Focusing on Search
April 10, 2009
Every few months I learn that Microsoft is focusing on search. The story today (March 9, 2009) appeared on the Industry Standard’s Web site here. Paul Boutin’s “Microsoft Cuts Live Labs Staff by Half, Refocuses on Search” explained that Live Labs (I am not sure what that unit does) will work with fewer wizards. These wizards will focus on search. Mr. Boutin’s include a segment that I found interesting:
At least for now, you can browse the names and headshots of most of the Live Labs team, pre-reassignment. A separate page Live Labs projects. The group, formally announced in January 2006, even posted a rambling Manifesto.
I took a look at the manifesto and noted that it was written in 2006 before Google had rolled out its Apps and App Engine. In 2006, the GOOG had only about 45 percent of the Web search market. (Today Googzilla is in the 75 percent range.) This passage from the Manifesto caught my eye:
We intend for and anticipate that other parts of Microsoft will join Live Labs by either directly funding new positions within its formal structure, or by aligning the mission of existing teams to Live Labs’ larger mission.
The change reported by the Industry Standard suggests that these intentions and anticipated actions did not come to pass.
Stephen Arnold, April 10, 2009