Microsoft is creating a new group within its Search unit to focus on commercial search, according to a note to UK-based journalists on August 21.
The commercial search group will be headed by Jeff Kelisky, former CEO of MultiMap, a location-based search company that Microsoft bought in December 2007. Kelisky is now the General Manager of Commercial Search, which includes Live Cashback, MSN shopping, Live Local, consumer mapping and Virtual Earth, plus mobile. Kelisky reports to Brad Goldberg, General Manager of the overall Search Business unit.
(Goldberg, according to his bio, is responsible for product management, product planning, and marketing for search. "This includes current and future versions of Live Search, and spans all search verticals, including Local Search and Image Search, as well as consumer and enterprise customer segments," his bio said.)
As PhotoSynth co-creator Blaise Aguera y Arcas told me recently, Microsoft views maps as "one axis for search."
I'm not sure what the other search axes might be in the Redmondians' minds these days. Image search? Enterprise search? Natural-language search?
In any case, it looks like Microsoft finally is moving beyond its Yahoo obsession and starting to look for ways to improve its search share and monetization strategies.