Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2009

Microsoft's Search

by Jan W. Rivkin and Eric J. Van den Steen


In 2008, executives at Microsoft must decide how to compete against Google in the market for Internet search and advertising. The case describes how Microsoft has responded to a set of competitive threats in the past, how Google has gained a dominant position in Internet search and advertising, and what Microsoft has done so far in its as-yet-unsuccessful effort to catch up with Google. The case then challenges students to construct a strategy that will allow Microsoft to achieve its objectives in the evolving market for search and advertising.

Keywords: Online Advertising; Competitive Strategy; Internet; Search Technology; United States;


Rivkin, Jan W., and Eric J. Van den Steen. "Microsoft's Search." Harvard Business School Case 709-461, January 2009.