Last week Microsoft Corp. finally roped Yahoo Inc. into an Internet search partnership. The 10-year deal announced Wednesday gives Microsoft access to Yahoo, the Internet's second-largest search engine audience. Microsoft hopes that the move will allow it to better confront Google. But what does this all mean for the Latin American and U.S. Hispanic markets?

Is Microsoft’s search technology (Bing, which is now going to power searches in Yahoo) available in Spanish?

Yes, a Microsoft spokesperson tells Portada: “There is already a Spanish language version of Bing in the US, as well as a Spanish language version of Bing Beta in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Spain and one regional service for Latin America.” This means that Bing has localized editions in the U.S. Hispanic market, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Brazil (Portuguese) and one panregional service for Latin America as a whole.”

What will the main differences between the Spanish-language versions of Bing and Live (Microsoft’s former search engine) be?

According to the Microsoft spokesperson “The experience on Bing in all markets will be very similar to the previous The main difference users will notice is that the Bing beta home page has rich images that change daily. We will be adding new features and functionality in all markets over time. “

Last year Telemundo broke its partnership with Yahoo and inked a deal with MSN Latino. Is Bing, as Live before, going to continue to power search at Telemundo websites?

Bing will continue to power Telemundo's site. Interestingly, Google powers search at the portal of Telemundo’s main competitor: Univision.

How will this partnership affect digital media in the Latin America?
Take this into account, even with Yahoo's help, Microsoft has its work cut out. Google, commands at least 90% of the search market in most Latin American countries, a higher share than it has in the U.S. and in Europe. Yahoo and Microsoft are among the players, which also include some local companies, who have the remaining 10% market share.

In the U.S, combined, Microsoft and Yahoo handle 28 percent of the Internet searches in the United States, well behind Google's 65 percent, according to online measurement firm comScore Inc.

So it’s going to be very tough for Yahoo-Microsoft to compete against Google in Latin America…

Well, not necessarily. Yahoo-Microsoft has a good chance to increase its share. The Latin American market is in an earlier state of development. Search commands a lower percentage of overall online revenues. (Interestingly, paid search only amounts to a third of Mexican online advertising revenues, with similar ratios in other Latin American markets, while it amounts to more than half in the U.S. market.). Over the next few years, it is very likely that search is going to grow more than other types of online advertising. This gives Microsoft-Yahoo (Bing) a chance to capture more of that growth than Google. In addition, both MSN and Yahoo are very popular in Latin America as destination sites (portals). By enticing its users to use Bing (which powers search on Yahoo and MSN), Yahoo – Microsoft may be able to capture a higher share.


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Portada Staff

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