Michael thinks that MS will eventually beat out Google - his reasoning being twofold:
- Word of Mouth is the only advertising gets, whereas MS is all over the air
- With Longhorn, MS will embed search to an extent that people will get driven to their site
That's certainly possible. On the other hand, Longhorn adoption is going to slow. Why? Because XP is, for the most part, good enough. Unlike 95/98/ME, it doesn't crash every time you look sideways at it. Then there's the advertising angle - and if the MS Office "dinosaur" campaign is any indication, I don't think Google needs to quake in their boots yet.
Current search engine use can't be terribly comforting to MS. When I scroll to the bottom of my blog, I find the daily (updated every couple of hours) referers. There's always a ton of hits from Google searches. There's usually one or two from Yahoo. It's a rare day when I see an MSN search result there. Heck, I may see Ask Jeeves more often - possibly even AltaVista.
There's not going to be a free Longhorn based swap-over, I don't think. If MS wants to win in search, they're going to have to do it the old fashioned way - provide a better set of results.