Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bing Gains In Search Share

Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT)'s new Bing search engine is off to a good start. The site last week attracted 16.7% of all search users, up from 15.8% the previous week, according to market watcher Comscore. For the week of May 25th, when Bing launched, its share stood at 13.7%.

"It appears that Microsoft Bing has continued to generate interest from the market for the second consecutive week," said Mike Hurt, Comscore's senior VP. "These early data reflect a continued positive market reaction to Bing in the initial stages of its launch," said Hurt.

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Tesla's CEO Elon Musk talks to John Battelle at the Web 2.0 Summit about renewable energy, about the recent struggles at Tesla, and his space venture (Spacex).Microsoft is looking to make a bigger splash in the search market. Through the first nine months of 2008 the company committed more than $1.5 billion to acquiring search, or search-driven businesses—including a $1.3 billion buyout of enterprise specialists Fast Search & Transfer.

It's also positioning Bing not just as a search site, but as a so-called "decision engine." Bing includes features that allow users to book travel and engage in other e-commerce transactions with just a few clicks.

Redmond hopes to catch up to Google (NSDQ: GOOG) in search market share. But it's got its work cut out. Google presently controls about 65% of the U.S. search market, while Microsoft owns only about 8% of the market, according to ComScore. Yahoo, the number two player, held 20% of the market, as of May.

Bing's debut in late May was not without controversy. Microsoft took heat for a feature in Bing search that allows users to watch full-motion snippets of porn videos—China and certain Muslim countries have disabled the function—but the software maker is emphasizing that Bing also includes tools, such as SafeSearch, that allow users to block anything they might find offensive.

Microsoft has also added a tool that lets network managers enforce the SafeSearch mode at the network level.
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