Microsoft quietly registered a limited liability company (LLC) last week, which points to the company being poised to make an acquisition or joint venture.
While some are speculating the new company could have something to do with Microsoft buying Citrix, I think all the signs, not to mention the timing, are pointing to a Microsoft-Yahoo hook-up. After all, this week is the "All Things D" D7 confab, where Microsoft is slated to show off to attendees its newest search release. And both Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz are on the guest list....
If I were going to bet what happens next, here's what I'd wager:
Microsoft's newest iteration of its search engine is expected to go live on or around June 2. At the same time, the approximately $100 million ad campaign designed to get people to forget (if they ever knew in the first place) that Live Search existed is expected to kick off.
Do you think the new Microsoft search, whatever it ultimately is called, has a chance to gain ground against Google? Is the search game simply a brand war, and not a features one (as Microsoft continues to claim it is)? And if so, does Yahoo/Bing have a chance against Google?
Update: If Bing does, in the end, become the new Live Search brand name, Microsoft might want to doctor the search results for "bing"... given the first definition that shows up when you search it using Microsoft's engine now: