Kevin Johnson, Microsoft's president of platforms and services division, has said that the company will work to fix their search brand image, according to USA Today. Microsoft has a history of holding the third largest search market share. But with Google dominating roughly 60% of the market and Yahoo holding onto 20-ish%, third place is not exactly competitive.
So far in 2008, Microsoft has tarnished their brand image. Their failed Yahoo acquisition attempt brought attention to their lackluster search product. Still, Microsoft has made no secret of their desire to catch Google. Even Bill Gates is making search one of his post-retirement projects.
The focus of any future search success may lie in what Johnson called "commercial intent queries." These types of queries relate to those that end in a monetary transaction. Recently, a program was announced where searchers get cash back on products purchased as a result of searching on Live Search. Product search has been getting updates, including being added to Live Search for Mobile. Microsoft also relaunched travel search site Farecast, which it acquired earlier this year.
Johnson mentioned that the company would like to expand into another commercial intent niche: real estate.