Back in 2007, Microsoft held what turned out to be a one-time event, called Searchification. Microsoft invited a number of media types down to Mountain View, California (to Microsoft’s offices there, where Live Search was headquartered at that time) to spend the day and learn about “Live Search 2.0. Live Search had just shifted focus to concentrate on building share from within, building Live Search into Windows Live, and into MSN, and Microsoft was eager to show it off, bringing a number of executives, including Satya Nadella down to Mountain View for the day.
Live Search, as Bing was known at the time (Microsoft announced “Bing” in May of 2009 and launched in June of that year) was only a year old at the time of Searchification, but was already undergoing a somewhat major transformation in one of many attempts to catch up to Google. Of course even today Bing is still far behind Google, although they’ve managed to move up the ladder from only 11% US market share to some 18% today. Nadella led the transformation of Live Search, incorporating it into Windows Live and MSN in a way that’s similar to how Bing is incorporating itself into Windows 8 today. While we don’t pretend to expect you to find many gems or insights into Satya Nadella’s future from this look into the past, it is interesting to not only see how far Bing has come, but how many of the issues, and solutions, to the problems of the day remain almost eerily similar.
During the event, we had a chance to sit down for a few minutes with at that time Corporate Vice President of the Search & Advertising Platform Group Satya Nadella, who has made quite a name for himself recently as the pretty clear front runner for the job of CEO of Microsoft. We talked about core relevance, branding, leveraging MSN, on the importance of a good search product on advertising, as well as what they’d accomplished with their new release and what problems still remained.
If nothing else, catching up on our chance to chat with soon to be (we think) CEO Satya Nadella was a bit of a trip down memory lane. We’re sure we’ll have a lot more on Nadella soon, if he indeed does become the new CEO, but for now, enjoy this little blast from the past.
(Image of the original Live Search searchbox, circa 2006, via Search Engine Land)