Today we're seeing headlines about Microsoft's latest huge investment that is going to "accelerate pursuit of Google". They purchased a company called Ciao that is said to be used by 26.5 million people a month to compare and review products. It might be a case of regional usage, but I've never heard of it before, have you?
Anyway, if Microsoft thinks this purchase is going to help them gain any kind of meaningful ground on Google, I believe they are mistaken. If I was in control of the "Google pursuit" at Microsoft, I guarantee I could find better use of half a billion dollars.
That's an interesting question -- what would you do with the $1.2 billion per year that Ballmer has set aside to get Microsoft into the game?