With the devastation in Haiti from the recent earthquake, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo are trying to do their part to help support the disaster relief.
The latest move in the Google/Microsoft legal battle involves a stay by Judge Ronald M. Whyte regarding Google’s countersuit against Microsoft.
The legal matters began last July when Microsoft filed suit against Google in Seattle ‘s King County Superior Court. The suit claimed that Google’s hiring of former Microsoft executive Kai-Fu Lee breached their non-compete agreement with Lee. Google, in response, filed a countersuit in an attempt to have the non-compete clause declared invalid.
By now everyone has seen the ads and is aware of the new Microsoft search engine, Bing. Microsoft has long been trying to beat Google at the search game. Bing is their latest attempt, although no one is being fooled into believing it will overtake Google. The Bing release came just months after releasing the Microsoft Live brand of which the Microsoft search was part. The Live Search name, however, was not popular with the public and even within the company, employees moaned about the moniker.
There is no doubt that Microsoft did not lead up to the release of its new search engine, Bing, quietly. After an extensive ad campaign, Bing was finally released as a preview alongside Live Search in June, 2009. The preview itself lasted only a mere week before all links to Live Search were redirected to Bing and Live Search was gone. The news of the preview, however, was strangely never released by Microsoft. It was first discovered by individual internet users and reported on in the tech blog, Techmeme.
Channel 10 News in Tampa Florida reported last week that Microsoft is now taking steps to integrate their Photosynth technology into the Microsoft Live Maps.
Photosynth, which was described by the Channel 10 folks as a “totally cool” new idea that lets the Windows user upload a photo which “the technology automatically “synths” is used to build a 3-D collage of photos that are interactive. The images that you upload are synthed to make them a three dimensional set of photos that can be viewed by the Microsoft Maps user.
Ask.com was once a popular search engine that has steadily been falling in recent times. Google, Yahoo!, and Bing hold the top three spots and Ask is a distant fourth with no positive outlook in the future. Ask is owned by IAC and their CEO, Barry Diller, has recently spoken out on the rumors of consolidation with one of the top three.
From the looks of it, Yahoo has been desperately trying to bail it’s way out of a miserable death. Having been denied last year by the US DoJ a deal with Google that would have potentially given it new life, Yahoo is now attempting to sell itself off to Microsoft. Even so, Google CEO Eric Schmidt still believes a so-called "independent" Yahoo is still important to preserving search engine competition.
Microsoft Purchases Greenfield Online to obtain Ciao.
Today we are living in a globalized economy. With retailers now capable of reaching around the world, many businesses have sought to expand their reach. Many foreign markets have proven especially tempting. A highly specialized cosmetic surgery company can obtain a new potential client base by exploring exposure to foreign markets. Microsoft has been leading the way in international expansion. While Microsoft is known worldwide, it is often easier for the blue giant to purchase already established companies in new markets; this saves time in developing a new brand for the area and reduces competition. Among the latest moves is the purchase of Greenfield Online. The surprise is that Microsoft wasn’t actually interested in the company as much as they are interested in a subsidiary. The main target of the purchase has been Ciao. Any practice moving towards online markets can learn from this, by applying these principles, one could expand into international territories and quickly find new customers.
Microsoft’s Bing search engine might still be in its infancy, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t making intriguing new enhancements. Microsoft has teamed with Twitter and Federated Media to create BingTweets, a unique search engine platform that integrates Twitter into the framework. Users visiting BingTweets will be able to see trending search topics, much in the same way Twitter users can see trending topics across the Twitter topic.
A plastic surgery practice should always try and improve their online presence. There are many ways in which this can be accomplished. Fighting for ranking, advertising and strong branding are excellent methods. One of the easiest methods is to simply expand the number of ways your site can be accessed. How can you do this? Simply listing your company with another search engine is one way. Microsoft has invested heavily in promoting the new search engine Bing. This service has much better branding than the previous “Microsoft Live Search” and is starved for content.