The president of Microsoft‘s platforms and services division, Kevin Johnson, says the firm admits that its “Live” search and services brand needs a makeover and in the face of failed negotiations with Yahoo!, the company is looking at revising the brand to make it more competitive with market leaders.
Speaking at a recent search advertising conference, Johnson said that Microsoft was looking closely at the Live brand and would “fix” it, even if that meant changing it completely. Live is not seen as a successful competitor to leading search brands such as Google and Yahoo! and Johnson says that an overhaul could include both the brand image as well as service functionality.
A major focus of the renovation is expected to be search results that lead directly to some form of sale or online transaction, termed ‘commercial intent queries’. The first step in this process was the recent move to give users cashback on purchases resulting from search queries but Johnson says the company is looking to expand the process considerably, with sectors such as real estate seen as a possible search category that could be leveraged to bring together user searches with finalised purchases.
The company is also releasing a toolkit to allow web developers to turn 404 error pages into Live Search-capable pages, allowing users to immediately search from a not found page rather than meeting an internet ‘dead end’.