Microsoft Announces Plans for European Search Technology Center to Deepen Investments in Live Search
June 17, 2008
European research and development center of excellence designed to help Microsoft disrupt the search and advertising marketplace.

CANNES, France, and REDMOND, Wash. — June 17, 2008 — At the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, Microsoft Corp. today announced plans to open a Search Technology Center (STC) in Europe in its fiscal year 2009. The new center will be designed to help accelerate Microsoft’s investments in Live Search and disrupt the search and advertising marketplace to the benefit of both the consumer and the advertiser, in line with Microsoft’s recent announcement in the U.S. of Live Search cashback.

“As I stated in my May 18 memo about our Online Services strategy, today Microsoft has 68 percent reach to Internet users throughout Europe through our online assets and strengths in display advertising; however, we’re not yet where we’d like to be in search in this critical geography,” said Kevin Johnson, president of the Platforms and Services Division at Microsoft. “Success in search in Europe is paramount, and we see the investment in this new Search Technology Center as an important step in doubling down on our long-term investments.”

The center will actively work with the global Live Search organization and be dedicated to advancing the state of the art in search technology by delivering a locally relevant, more intelligent and powerful search experience to online customers around the world. Modeled after the Search Technology Center in Beijing, China, which opened in October 2005, plans for the new European hub are indicative of Microsoft’s commitment to give Live Search customers a highly relevant, localized and interactive search experience.

The location of the European STC has yet to be announced; however, several cities are currently being considered as the hub, with the expectation that a smaller numbers of engineers contributing to the STC could be placed in multiple countries, possibly including, for example, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. The goal is to create a highly versatile and challenging European center of excellence for Microsoft’s research and development leaders.

“Searchers have different expectations and experiences in every geography in the world, so we believe it is critical to make deep investments in physical locations in multiple markets to ensure that we’re applying the best local expertise to our research and development efforts,” said Satya Nadella, senior vice president of the Search, Portal and Advertising Group at Microsoft. “We’re already doing some great work in Europe in the enterprise search space through our January 2008 acquisition of Fast Search & Transfer SA, and we’re looking forward to opening the European Search Technology Center to further our investments.”

This move is in line with other investments Microsoft is making in Europe in the advertising business, including the planned expansion of the DRIVEpm media network in fiscal 2009 into European markets including The Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. DRIVEpm does business today in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Microsoft’s fiscal 2009 year is July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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