Dare goes on to explain that Google has become the default search engine. To win, Microsoft needs to reacquire the channels and mindshare that would make them the default.
I agree pretty much with Dare on this one. Back in 2003, things may have been different, but, at this point, I think Microsoft needs to throw around their market power to win.
Microsoft should lock up channels with partnerships, cut out Google from the defaults, make exclusive advertising deals that suck revenue away from Google, and make Live (or MSN or whatever brand they finally pick) part of the general lexicon. It is not pretty. It is not nice. But it is what they must do to win.
See also my April 2006 post, "Kill Google, Vol. 3", where I said:
Microsoft should strangle Google's air supply, their revenue stream .... Microsoft should use its size to make deals .... Microsoft should use its market power to be the exclusive ad provider for large sites .... Microsoft should ... make being an advertising provider unprofitable for others.See also my previous post, "Google dominates, MSN Search sinks".
If Microsoft wants to win, it should play to its strengths. It should not seek to change the game. It should seek to end the game.
Update: Four months later, Microsoft appears to be making new efforts to lock up channels with partnerships. John Battelle reports, "Microsoft is offering its large enterprise customers free service and product credits if those customers push Live search inside their enterprises."