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MSN Search is what it is…. for now.

Note to self: don’t bother with further research into MSN search. It is what it is.

That’s the competitive intel decision after reading this blog. The guy started there in April, and you know the only way Microsoft could hire this guy from technorati was by presenting opportunity. That means RESOURCES, of the financial and brainiac kind. What can you get done with some startup funds and some smart people – technorati. What can you get done with a committed behemoth like MS, given an opportunity to work there with a budget to hire and resources to innovate? Almost anything. They’ve got had tons of cash.

Some of the tips we get from the exit post on the personal blog:

I joined Microsoft in April excited to change the world and build an Internet-scale feed platform to power the experience of Microsoft’s hundreds of millions of users as well as opening up the feed experience to outside developers to leverage in their own applications. The opportunity presented to me was extremely unique and a way to change how the world interacts with syndication technologies such as RSS, RDF, and Atom.

See? Opportunity to steer the Microsoft machine at syndication. Wow. I’d take that job, too lol.

It sounds like it got off to a convincing start:

The Windows Live initiative got off to a huge start, with lots of new services created and an “invest to win” strategy in the new division.

but then, oh then what happened?

The stock plummeted on the announcement Microsoft did not have its costs under control. Microsoft’s market cap lost close to $59 billion in the six weeks after I joined

and with that plunge went… innovation?

What do you do when the market responds to your 6 month-old online services strategy by reducing your valuation by 1.5 Yahoos? Windows Live is under some heavy change, reorganization, pullback, and general paralysis and unfortunately my ability to perform, hire, and execute was completely frozen as well.

or at least short-term funding. It sure sounds like M$ sent out an all-hands-on-deck call for the next version of the stalwart enterprise apps, perhaps as a conservative thrust at regaining Wall Street (and big business) confidence in the Microsoft Machine:

I was able to borrow resources here and there, but there was no team being built around the platform in the foreseeable future. I could have stayed at Microsoft, waited for the other 85% of the company to ship their products, and then hope support for my group might be back on track again, but I didn’t want to sit around doing little to nothing until Vista, Office, and Exchange ship.

Yep. Say goodbye to innovation at M$ until Vista and the Enterpri$e Apps ship. What does that mean for Search? Duh. It is what it is. Label it Live! and embed it into the desktop, the browser, the Office Suite, etc… and that’s plenty enough work for now. So what does that mean, no serious changes until 2 years from now? That’s my guess. Hitting the nail on the head is this part:

It’s easier to get funding outside Microsoft than inside at the moment, so I am stepping out and doing my own thing.

Old money will like the news; new money will just say “same old Microsoft”.