Starting with the browser, Microsoft has been one of the biggest failures and laggards on the Internet side of the computer industry.
Microsoft’s latest and biggest failure is, of course, on the search front where Google has taken all the glory and all the money.
Despite throwing in hundreds of millions of dollars, Microsoft’s MSN search engine struggles to gain user acceptance in the face of a far superior service from Google.
But MSN Search is not the only Microsoft failure on the Internet side.
In fact, the history of Microsoft’s Internet initiatives is littered with the carcases of failures – online advertising, MSN Internet access, CarPoint, MSFDC bill presentment and payment service, LinkExchange Banner Network, HomeAdvisor home buying service, Passport Express Purchase online shopping service, Electronic Wallet, MoneyCentral and more.
AOL crushed Microsoft’s Internet access service MSN in the early days.
Launched in the second half of 1995, MSN Internet access service never gained traction with users.
Then, Microsoft’s electronic bill presentment and payment venture MSFDC crashed and burned without ever making any meaningful headway.
Microsoft’s auto web site and online car buying service CarPoint failed and was folded into MSN.
One of the rare popular Microsoft Internet service, the Hotmail e-mail service was acquired from Indian entrepreneur Sabeer Bhatia et al in December 1997.