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April 10, 2013

Microsoft’s search engine Bing launched in June 2009 but it has not made significant inroads in online search. According to a news release from comScore at the end of 2012, Google accounted for nearly 67% of the online market share and while Microsoft’s Bing was the second most used search engine, it remains a very distant silver medalist with 16% market share.

However, Microsoft is determined to challenge Google and they are one of the very few technology firms in the world with the resources available to make this online battle interesting.  Microsoft appears to be taking a page out of American political campaigns opting to vilify Google with a humorous campaign called Scroogled to change consumer’s perceptions.

The core of Microsoft’s thrust is that Google’s Android software shares your personal information with app developers.  I’m not sure how this might translate into people opting to use Bing but it does make for entertaining marketing.  For years Microsoft has been dogged by technology companies for being out of touch.  Can Microsoft redefine their image?  Is the Scroogled campaign a sign of more to come?  Microsoft certainly could benefit from an image makeover, but it is hard to see how they can get out of their own way based on the firm’s stumbles over the past decade. However, I’m enthralled and looking forward to watching this play out.

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