After much back and forth, Microsoft has made a deal with Yahoo that could potentially help the company to rival Google in internet search and advertising. BusinessWeek reports, "Advertisers and online publishers want a viable alternative to the search titan. But analysts question whether Microsoft can avoid losing ground as it implements the complex Yahoo partnership, which could take two years, and afterward come up with real innovations in the business. "We can't afford a hiccup on this," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in an interview." Yet some advertisers have already expressed interest in trying out Microsoft-Yahoo over Google, as some feel that its dominance in the space has led to "a lack of innovation and excessive costs."

As a long time user of both Yahoo's search engine advertising technology (which they bought from Overture, formerly named Goto) and of Google's Adwords engine, I can tell you that Yahoo's technology
is much much harder to use. Google is the one to beat here. And they know it, which may be why
their much deserved reputation for simple user interfaces is becoming less and less apparent in their
search engine advertising management interface. Adwords is getting complicated.

Therefore competition in this space can only be a good thing for advertisers. Let's hope Microsoft and
Yahoo can get their act together enough to push Google to improve.

Curt Finch writes for a project management blog.