Search Battles and Advertising Wars
Wired's Chris Anderson, and others, comment on Microsoft's plan to pay users to search using Microsoft's services. That plan immediately impressed me, especially since it supports Jonathan Schwartz's claim that companies will soon pay people to use their software. Schwartz at Supernova 2005: "We've gone from you pay for a product, you pay to access the service, to the service is free. What's the next step? The next step is the service pays you."

Presumably, Microsoft will pay, well, you in order to win search software market share. But paying you in order to win more of the search software market doesn't necessarily earn revenue for Microsoft. As Gates argues: "Google's business model is not based on free software. Their business model is based on advertisements from which they make a lot of money." Gates, rightly I think, decouples search software from Google's lucrative advertising network built with AdSense on third party publications. How does buying market share in the search software market create revenue opportunities in the market where the money is?

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