How many Softies use Live Search?

In a blog post today, Ina Fried at CNET News quoted a Microsoft employee who recalled hearing some sobering statistics about Google vs. Live Search usage within Microsoft:

At a company meeting about a year ago, one Microsoft worker recalls hearing that four-fifths of the company’s search traffic was going to Google. Although he uses Live Search personally, the worker, who asked not to be named, said plenty of his co-workers still use Google.

"We are still fighting that battle," the worker said. Among its full-time U.S. workers, Microsoft says that, for February, Live Search and Google had roughly equal share, at around 48 percent apiece, with little search traffic going to Yahoo or any of the other search players.

While there’s no doubt that Live Search faces quite an uphill battle both internally and externally, the stats aren’t quite so grim, according to a tweet by Live Search Community Program Manager Betsy Aoki:

Correct Feb stats for MS employees - Live Search and Google = abt 48 percent apiece, with leftovers going to Yahoo or others.

Numbers, of course, are funny things, easily manipulated, especially in 140 characters or less (we’ve asked – via Twitter – for a source for the data).  It would be interesting to see how much Live Search traffic internally came as a result of the Kumo testing, what the January (and March) numbers were, etc. etc, but even if Kumo has doubled internal usage of Live Search, that’s not so bad, hey?