June 10, 2009

Bing Takes Double-Digit Market Share In First Week

Microsoft's Bing search engine has been steadily increasing in popularity, according to new figures from industry tracker comScore on Tuesday.

After going live June 3, Bing has given Microsoft its first double-digit Web search market share in two years.

The software giant took 11.1 percent of US searches from June 2 to June 6, compared to 9.1 percent the previous week.

"It appears to be off to a good start," said Mike Hurt, vice president of comScore.

"The ultimate performance of Bing depends on the extent to which it generates more trial through its extensive launch campaign and whether it retains those trial users."

"These initial data suggest that Microsoft Bing has generated early interest, resulting in a spike in search engagement and an immediate term improvement to Microsoft's position in the search market."

However, Microsoft still trails industry leader Google, which took more than 60 percent of searches in April, and Yahoo Inc, which accounted for 20 percent of Web queries.

Last week, the Redmond, Washington-based firm launched a $100 million, four-month advertising campaign for its new search engine.

In the first Bing ad, the narrator begins by identifying a problem the company refers to as "search overload."

Microsoft deliberately chose to advertise Bing as a "decision engine," rather than a search engine.

"Today, search engines do a decent job of helping people navigate the Web and find information, but they don't do a very good job of enabling people to use the information they find," said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO.

"Bing is an important first step forward in our long-term effort to deliver innovations in search that enable people to find information quickly and use the information they've found to accomplish tasks and make smart decisions."

In a previous attempt, Microsoft launched Live Search four years ago, but the engine never generated much popularity and Web users never became comfortable with the service.

"Anyone who thinks there will be a magical change of market share overnight is not being realistic about what it takes," Yusuf Mehdi, a senior vice president in Microsoft's online group, said last week.

Mehdi told the AP the company hopes to increase its share of the market within the next year.


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