"Microsoft: if you want to beat Google, find a way to develop a completely open search ranking system."
And this to me is the most delicious irony in this stinky stew. I think MS is perfectly capable of developing such a thing, but they will invariably find a way to shoot themselves in the foot. I remember hearing a while back that searching for Linux with the MS search engine produced thousands of results while searching the same term on Google produced tens of millions of hits.
Once you've demonstrated that you are willing to sacrifice results and accuracy for market share, it's hard to earn back that trust. MS has stepped into this mess over and over and doesn't seem to learn from their mistake.
So yeah, I agree. MS just has to build a superior product to succeed. Too bad that seems to be the path less taken.