Monday, November 23, 2009

All the News that Fits the Search Engine

I may be one of the few people around the world(the ones that care that is)that was not surprised to see that News Corp is hooking up with Microsoft. When I was at Dow Jones Telerate in the late 1990's there was a rumor flying around that Microsoft was one of the interested buyers for the Dow Jones market data arm. As it happened Bridge Information Systems got DJT for a steal, then demolished it. But when Reuters was struggling and offering itself around the market nearly a decade later the Microsoft rumor again surfaced. But Thomson got the prize that time. After both sales the market data industry sighed with relief and smugly told itself that a technology company couldn't possibly understand the market data business, nor would a Microsoft add any value to the content world. That was then. Even when Reuters sold to Thomson Corp Microsoft did not have a viable search facility. Google was kicking it arse. Now Microsoft has spent gazillions on its Bing search engine and it needs an edge to chip away at Google's market share. Finally technology meets news content. Many have lamented the demise of the printed newspaper, knowing there is still a need for quality journalism out there. But MSFT having exclusive access to News Corp content should only be the beginning. If Bing were the only place I could search for New York times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg and Economist articles then Bing it would be for me. MSFT could take control over searches for the financial services industry first then move on to a more generic audience. That is a business model Reuters and Telerate would have killed for.

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