Slowly but surely, new details about incoming Microsoft (MSFT) digital chief Qi Lu are beginning to emerge. The general picture: An incredibly bright and hard-working engineer widely respected for his technical prowess, but perhaps lacking in charisma and leadership skills.
But Microsoft wants us to get to know Lu more, so the company is putting up a press release in the form of a Q&A with Lu.
There’s a few interesting nuggets in there — Lu wants to improve Live.com’s “search product quality,” and build a coherent advertising platform. There’s also no hubris from the engineer — he acknowledges the obvious, which is that Google (GOOG) will be a giant challenge.
The “interview” is something Microsoft’s PR team pored over before publishing, but still, Lu is hitting all the right notes. Of course, if Lu couldn’t catch Google while he was Yahoo, what luck will he have at Microsoft?
PressPass: Where do you see the opportunities for Microsoft in the search and online space?
Lu: Microsoft’s search product quality is improving at a very, very fast rate, that there are great foundations there..
The second opportunity is to continue building a very powerful advertising platform. Microsoft has made a series of strategic acquisitions, and also built a bunch of internal technologies and products. The key is to put all those assets together to build powerful, highly scalable advertising platforms…
PressPass: Whenever anyone talks about competition in search, the target always is Google. Are they catchable?
Lu: Well, we’re here to win, and my view on this is that to win in the search space, fundamentally you build on the strengths of your product. And we know what it takes to build a compelling user experience and winning product…
But make no mistake; I think Google is a very, very powerful company. They are definitely ahead in the search space. There are a lot of challenges ahead. We’ve got our work cut out for us.