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Microsoft's search trips up

Microsoft wants to expand its search empire

Microsoft 's share of the online search market has declined for the first time in several months. The news, confirmed by Nielsen/NetRatings will be a blow to the software giant. Microsoft has made no secret of its desire to grow share in online search and will see this latest news as a blow.

Nielsen's April results revealed that Microsoft's share had slipped to nine per cent, with Google taking 55 per cent. Microsoft's share declined around one per cent during April. Yahoo's share is around the 22 per cent mark, and this week has seen yet more continued speculation that Microsoft might seek to expand its online empire by buying Yahoo.

Microsoft is also trying to grow share of the online advertising market, shown by its purchase of Aquantive last week. Google's online ad domination took a shot in the arm when it bought DoubleClick for $3.1 million (£1.5 billion) last month.