Sponsored link impressions are up 16 percent writes Clickz.

At the moment, Online Advertising is projected to grow at 19%, but search engine advertising is supposed to grow at 26% according to the same source.

This shows, how important search advertising is growing to be. It is important enough, obviously, for some companies to seriously think about how to incentivise the user for using their search engines. MSN even put up a microsite with a sweepstake for using their search, called search and win.
Or even pay Dell $10 for every computer shipped that has their desktop search function pre-installed, as this German website says.

The search war ain’t over yet. Expect more, evermore interesting battles, of which, hopefully, mainly the user will benefit.