Northern Light Finds IT Industry Analysts More Positive About Google in Wake of Microsoft’s Bing Launch

MI Insight™ assessment of analyst commentary in recent media articles about the Web search marketplace reveals spike in “positive sentiment” toward Google, decline for Yahoo, and overwhelming neutrality toward Microsoft

CAMBRIDGE, MA, Aug. 31, 2009 – Microsoft Corp.’s recent launch of its Bing search engine seemed to generate more enthusiasm for Google than for Microsoft among information technology (IT) industry analysts who follow the Web search marketplace, according to an independent assessment by Northern Light (www.northernlight.com).

A MI Insight™ study by Northern Light of analyst commentary contained in media coverage of Google, Yahoo and Microsoft in the Web search marketplace over nine months (Oct. 2008-June 2009) reveals that approximately 40 percent of analysts’ comments about Google were favorable toward the company, whereas only 10 percent of analyst comments about Microsoft and Yahoo were favorable toward those companies.  Microsoft’s launch of Bing in Q2 2009 generated a spike in analyst commentary reported in media articles, but it was overwhelmingly neutral in tone toward Bing.  Reported analyst comments about Google during the same period were both more numerous, and proportionately more positive. Concurrently, analyst commentary about Yahoo remained level compared to the prior quarter, but turned more negative in tone.

While IT industry analysts published much on this topic directly to their clients, what they said in publicly available media reports is a good indication of their overall perspectives, according to Northern Light.

“The launch of Bing certainly generated an increase in coverage and analyst commentary that was favorable toward Google’s Web search service.  This cannot have been the outcome Microsoft was hoping for,” C. David Seuss, CEO of Northern Light, said.  “Meanwhile, Yahoo seemed to have gotten caught in the crossfire, with its analyst coverage in news media turning negative as a result of Microsoft’s competition with Google.”  Seuss added, “One wonders how the potential partnership of Microsoft and Yahoo, announced after the end of the period covered by the study, will change the tone of analyst commentary toward those companies.”

Northern Light’s MI Insight study also finds that IT industry analysts generally believe mobile search is the market in which Microsoft has the best chance against Google, and that it will be the primary search battleground going forward; and that Google may have to refocus on Web search, lessening its attack in other areas where it competes with Microsoft.

Northern Light plans to update its MI Insight study at the end of the third calendar quarter.

About MI Insight

MI Insight is a new service from Northern Light that provides one place to go for all the current market intelligence a company needs.  It unifies a company’s tracking of product markets, competitors, events, and trends in one easy-to-deploy, turnkey solution. Each MI Insight is customized to the client’s specifications, populated with content, and editorially supervised by Northern Light research professionals.  MI Insight can be integrated into a SinglePoint™ strategic research portal, a Northern Light Business News™ portal, or deployed as a MI Insight portal.

Northern Light’s editorial team works with each client to create a framework within the MI Insight portal to capture, organize, and present all of the key knowledge elements the client requires to support its strategic initiatives. Then Northern Light researchers scour Internet resources, news, and licensed research for the content required to populate and update the portal. The result is a fresh and accessible mother lode of market intelligence that can be easily used by all the client’s employees.

About Northern Light
Northern Light has been providing strategic research portals, business research content, and search technology to global enterprises since 1996.  Northern Light’s current clients include Fortune 100 market leaders in information technology, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, energy, insurance, transportation, retailing, and electronics. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with a development center in St. Petersburg, Russia, Northern Light Group LLC is a profitable, privately-held, self-funded company with more than 50 employees.

[NOTE TO EDITORS: A summary of the MI Insight study cited in this news release is available from Northern Light.