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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Worldwide, Microsoft Still Has An Edge On The Web

New global audience statistics from comScore show the Microsoft still has an edge in total unique visitors to its web sites each month based on September 2006 figures. But, that may not last long.

Worldwide, the web had 726.7 million visitors in the age group over 15. Microsoft sites had 505.5 million unique visitors, followed by Yahoo! Sites at 480.6 million and Google Sites at 457.5 million. But, new Google acquisition YouTube has 81 million, a jump of 12% from the previous month. Google may be in the lead when October worldwide numbers hit.

It is somewhat stunning how far other major companies lag. The Time Warner Network had 2187.8 million in September, less than half of what the leaders boast. Fox, which includes MySpace, sits at 117.8 million.

The new numbers do point out one important thing, especially for Microsoft and Yahoo!. While Google dominates many things on the internet, it does not dominate everything.

If MSN and Yahoo! can build features that allow them to be more competitive than Google, or if they can do an M&A transaction to get a set of properties like Barry Diller's IAC's Network, they could stay in the race. Ask had 112.8 million unique visitors worldwide in September.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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