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Bing No Longer the Forgotten Step Child of Web Search

Published by: Andy on 2nd Jun 2015 | View all blogs by Andy

Bing No Longer the Forgotten Step Child of Web Search

Microsoft's Bing search engine has come a long way since it debuted in 2009, according to the latest figures from online research specialist Gartner. Back then, Bing accounted for just 8.4 percent of Internet searches, compared to more than 65 percent for global search leader Google. According to the latest report, Bing's share of US searches has surpassed 20 percent for the first time. That puts Bing in second behind Google, whose share has basically held steady for over a decade. Bing has managed to increase its share without impacting Google thanks to the declining popularity of Yahoo, Aol and Ask.com. While Bing is still well behind Google, many insiders believe there's room to grow as Google continues to battle antitrust allegations and other Public Affairs issues.

Bing launched in 2009 after several failed attempts by Microsoft to launch an Internet portal / search engine. Just a few months later, an agreement was signed with Yahoo making Bing the underlying search engine fro Yahoo searches. Bing has steadily increased its share since, mostly at the expense of Yahoo. The biggest problem facing Microsoft's Bing team, however, is in the mobile search space, where rivals Google and Apple dominate. Research firm eMarketer predicts that searches from mobile devices will outnumber PC searches for the first time this year, and Google and Apple have a big leg up in the space thanks to their mobile operating systems. Microsoft does have its own mobile OS, Windows Phone, but it hasn't really caught on in any real way.

To address their mobile shortcomings, Microsoft is working on a digital assistant called Cortana, that works just like Apple's Siri and Google's Now products. Already available on Windows Phones, Cortana will eventually be available for iOS and Android devices, the company announced this week. The company also needs to do some work to be relevant internationally, as Google controls some 80 percent of the search market outside the US.

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