MSN Desktop Search Launches

I won’t be reviewing it personally (or, at least not for several days), but if you haven’t already heard it from 10 other sources, Microsoft (MSFT) is launching MSN Desktop Search this morning, joing Google, Yahoo and everyone else.

Remember, the point of desktop search from a provider perspective is to “own” a user’s “searching activity”. This is strategically important for any number of reasons, the primary ones being:

a) Current manifestations of search functionality have limited user lock-in; and

b) Searching is the monetizable component of SEM, with native searches having substantially more value than acquired searches (i.e., a search on Google is worth substantially more to Google than a search on AOL, given traffic acquisition costs [TAC], etc. Google was able to steal the AOL partnership from Overture because Google could subsidize the TAC because of the revenues they were generating with their native search volume.)

My point? Don’t seed your search activity to any of these providers unless you have the distinct impression that they’re working hard to earn it. Co-branding someone else’s product w/o adding (material) unique value (Yahoo!) or rushing a partially-baked solution to market (Google) isn’t “earning it” in my mind…

Posted in Uncategorized
One comment on “MSN Desktop Search Launches
  1. Nicely said Tony! Nicely said. Given Feedster’s position, I’ve held back my thoughts on all of the new desktop search products but they certainly don’t meet my needs. Nor do I recommend them.