Halo 3, Facebook & Live Search – Is Microsoft Winning the PR Battle Against Google?

Is it just me or does it seem that business and tech news has been “all Microsoft, all the time” lately. The release of Halo 3 created a firestorm of press coverage. It’s being hailed as the biggest entertainment release in history, besting the debut of Spiderman 3. Add to that the stir created by the expected investment in Facebook and the just announced TV networking device for Windows Media Center.

Sure, the GM strike, especially here in Michigan, grabbed a few headlines. But, labor negotiations can’t compete with the juicy tech buzz that Microsoft has created. I almost feel sorry for Google having nothing more to announce this week than a piddly expansion of their European operations.

Microsoft also announced sweeping changes to their Live Search, stating that “this time we can claim we are as good as Google”. For me, this is where the rubber meets the road. Paid search is what really matters to me and I’d love to see Microsoft give Google a run for its money.

Our paid search initiatives on Live have consistently delivered higher conversion rates than Google and Yahoo. Sadly, search traffic on Live has a long way to go to compete with Google, which owns four times the market share of Microsoft in search. The gang in Redmond claims to be the #2 most heavily trafficked web network in the U.S. Will the revamped Live Search entice enough traffic from that network to make a dent in Google? Time will tell. It’s certainly heartening to see Bill and Steve making a big push in search, but is it too late?

According to reports, Google will be adding several thousand engineers to their European presence. The aim is to grow the workforce there to the size of their U.S. operations. Could it be that Google feels they’ve already conquered the domestic market and are moving on to the next objective in their quest for world domination? On a macro-economic level, the growth potential in Europe is higher than in the U.S. Not to mention India, China and Asia. Google has consistently enjoyed a search market share north of 50% for what seems like forever here in the U.S. Let’s face it. They’ve won the battle of North America. Next stop Europe, then Asia. And didn’t I hear something about Google being the first search engine on the moon?