Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is now giving the closing keynote at the Advance08 Conference in Redmond, Washington. The big news is Live Search Cashback, announced earlier. The live stream began at about 10:30 am PST.
A big part of the keynote is about applying logic to searches to help determine intent. The main types of search: entertainment, commerce and reference (and navigation). Microsoft’s strategy is to try to simplify key tasks and innovate in the business model. The focus right now is on commercial search.
Commerce represents about a third or all searches, but the “dominant” share of revenue from search advertising. It’s a “very big part of the $20 billion search market.” Microsoft cites eMarketer: U.S. online retail is projected to grow to $335 billion by 2012, and today 68 percent of all those retail transactions begin at a search engine. This translates to 3.7 billion commerce-related queries a month.
Live Search Cashback is today’s announcement around commerce search. Gates says to expect big announcements around search every six months going forward. 2008 is the year, he says, that people will look back and say that search got competitive.
Gates concluded at 11 am, and Satya Nadella, Senior Vice President, Search, Portal & Advertising Platform Group, took the stage to talk about Live Search Cashback from a product perspective.