Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has a tough job. Microsoft is set to roll out its new search engine, code named Kumo and now called Bing, this week.
Can Microsoft win the search engine battle? Ummm, the battle is over. Google won the battle because their search was obviously better and faster than what was out there. Under the current search paradigm, there is almost no reason for a user to switch to a similarly structured search engine because its results are a little bit better. How would a user even know?
One could decribe every bet that Microsoft makes against Google's entrenched position as risky, since they keep losing, or expensive yet riskless, since they will never win if they don't try. The aren't expected to win but they have lots of time and energy to try.
The twist this time is that Microsoft is going to spend $80 - 100 million on an ad budget for the rollout. As far as I have ascertained Microsoft is trying to sell you a new and different way to search, that isn't very different at all.
Look for a lot of ads from Mr. Softee in the coming months.