back to article Can Bing ride IE and WinPho to Google triumph?

Next month marks the two-year anniversary of Microsoft's assault on Fortress Google. Two years ago, after pouring billions of dollars into a new search engine and advertising platform, Microsoft took Bing to market. In two years, Bing has gone from an eight per cent market share - courtesy of predecessor, Microsoft Live …


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  1. omohat
    Thumb Down

    People expect second best??

    "...the web surfing public has had its expectations shaped by a decade of second best from Google. They now expect second best, ..."

    Bull. Every time I've compared Google to Bing, Google (despite the content farms and spam) still manages to put relevant links higher up the page than Bing. To me that's not second best. It doesn't matter about any other "features" Bing might bring to the table - if it isn't is as good as Google at searching, I won't use it.

  2. NorthernSands

    Just a mobile 'desktop' to me...

    Maybe it's just me, but when I want to search for something on t'interweb, when using my mobile device, I fire up my browser and use the 'desktop' version of Google (iGoogle even).

    As mobile devices get faster, with higher resolution screens, I can see more and more people using the 'desktop' versions of websites, not the mobile version. So, we'll just be recreating the desktop experience in our hands and we'll use whatever we use on our desktop (in my case Google).

    I've always been perplexed by everyone saying that the mobile space is 'ripe for the picking', as it were. I can't see it, am I missing something?

  3. Khaptain Silver badge

    Simple Really

    Regardless of what hidden agendas our Chocolate Mountain friends may have, they offer a bloody good product

    * It's free for the end user.

    * It's fast.

    * It's multi platform ( OK it's the web but you know what I mean).

    * The results arent too bad, usually.

    * There's not too much rubbish on each page ( you don't even see the advertising).

    * Search filters work.

    * It's customisable.

    * Granny can use it without calling up the helpdesk cave dwellers.

    * There's a load of extra goodies ( translation, maps, video etc).

    * It doesn't tie us down to any one browser..

    And the list goes on.

    Google also have the advantage that this is their baby, for MS this is only one of a multitude of projects. MS just don't have the same drive.......

    On top of that , where I am from ( Scotland) - Bing = a slag heap. Now why would I want to search through a slag heap ?

    If someone wants to contend with Google they are going to have to develop a whole new paradigm in the way they we interact with the web. Not an easy task........

    MS have ran out of ideas,

    Google keep pumping them out, not all of them are good but they are always free.. ( Anyone remember Google Wave).

    The next evolution : Tying our brain waves into the web, thinking about something and then having the results directly returned into our memories. We will become the cloud...... Scary bloody thought.

    1. Rebajas

      Title goes here...

      I see where you're going with that - but I can't see the same interface for a web site working on a 24 inch screen on the desktop and a 3-4 inch screen in your hand...

      1. NorthernSands

        The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

        You raise an interesting point: perhaps, instead of having a 'desktop' and a 'mobile' version of a website, we should have something that scales far better across all sizes of view-port. Those with ultra res' screens perhaps deserve something that makes the most of their screen real-estate, rather than having a narrow strip of web page down the middle. seems to work quite well on this front.

        As it is, though, most websites are designed for a 'lowest common denominator', which used to be 800 pixels wide, but now appears to be 1024. This width is very usable on modern smart phones, not to mention tablets with >= 1024 pixel width.

        The only downside at the moment is not the view, rather the interaction with sites. Hover is used extensively on some sites, which doesn't always work well on a touch interface. But I'm sure that'll change as more sites adapt.

        My problem with 'mobile' versions of sites is that they were designed for the small screen WAP days. A lot of them look plain awful now, on these modern devices. The mobile BBC site isn't too bad, but igoogle is pretty dreadful.

  4. Bilgepipe
    Gates Horns


    >>> The company has closely analyzed people's search behavior to determine what would best differentiate the Bing experience from Google.

    These are the people which closely analysed people's word processing behaviour and came up with Clippy, about the fourth most retarded thing Microsoft has ever produced. I don't think Google has much to worry about.

  5. ColinP

    Find / replace

    "Stefan Weitz, director of Bing, The Huffington Post that the web surfing public has had its expectations shaped by a decade of second best from Google. They now expect second best, he says"


    web surfing -> office-software-using

    a decade -> two decades

    Google -> Mircosoft

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft's usual Marketing Methods

    Bling will be the default search engine on IE upgrades/installations. IE will be the default browser on new machines.

    By this means, they will, slowly, take over. Without these tactics, Bling would have hardly been noticed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      My wife bought a brand new Windows 7 desktop on Sunday. Fired it up, up pops IE with Bing bars all over it.

      Fortunately she only used IE for long enough to install a virus checker and Google Chrome.

  7. A. Lewis


    Weitz seems to have borrowed Mr Jobs' reality distortion field.

    So people use google because they've been using it for a long time, and like the drooling morons that they are: have been putting up with its dismal service because they didn't think to use an alternative.

    That's a pretty dim view of people really. Google used to be just one of a plethora of well known alternatives: Yahoo, Lycos, Altavista, Ask Jeves, and so on and on. I think if google was as bad as Mr Weitz suggests, it wouldn't have risen to its current popularity.

    As the article points out, in this world view there is something of a comparison with Office. However the big difference there is that (certainly if you want to share/collaborate with anyone else) there hasn't, historically, been much alternative.

    Personally, I use google because I find it delivers good results quickly. All of bing's 'extra value' fluff is nice, but if the actual search delivers irrelevant results, more slowly, I'm not going to use it. But then I guess inside the reality distortion field: I don't exist...

    1. Tom 13

      He works at the Huffers Post

      You can't work there and not have a dim view of people. Lousy choice for somebody to quote from the author.

  8. Alister Silver badge


    "One is Internet Explorer. Though IE has been losing market share, the browser is good business for Bing. Analysis by comScore shows that Microsoft sites get a higher share of searches from IE compared to Chrome and Firefox, while Google gets it's lowest per centage of searches from the Microsoft browser."

    I don't think these statistics support an interpretation that there is an informed choice - such that users of IE "prefer" Bing or users of Firefox / Chrome "prefer" Google.

    Is this not just a consequence of the overwhelming majority of clueless users sticking with the default start pages their browser comes with? So IE has BIng as it's default, Firefox and Chrome have Google, when first installed.

  9. Elmer Phud

    Buying the market?

    "Microsoft is averaging approximately two-and-a-half per centage points growth a year"

    Is that partly down to Microsoft buying their way to increasing their ratings - with things like Multimap f'rinstance?

  10. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    In other words, Bing is used by people who

    don't know how to change the default settings on their computer.

    (Not everyone can be an expert, but, still...)

  11. Miek

    Can Bing ride IE and WinPho to Google triumph?

    Not until Hell freezes over

  12. Ian Yates

    Have to say

    I actually like Bing. True, they've renovated more than innovated most of the features (certainly a lot of Google and Yahoo features in there), but I've started using it as one of my main search engines.

    I think it would be a mistake for MS to push it too hard, though; I tend to rile against default search engines, and we all know how much ire it can get from the technorati.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    If you could...

    ... learn to spell 'percentage', I might not have got so irritated that I stopped reading.

    Not that it matters, as comScore is a partner of Microsoft anyway, which makes the article irrelevant.

    Next week, we find out which is the best football team in Britain, by asking Alex Ferguson.

  14. Surur

    Bizarre article

    This is a rather bizarre article, given that Experian Hitlinks just found Bing powered 30% of US internet searches (Bing+Yahoo search), taking market share from Google, who was 3% down since the last month,

    The fact is that Microsoft has executed very well in the search field, through a combination of research and business dealings, and have bought their way into relevance again. Bing has deals with Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter and even Verizon. Those deals are looking increasingly smart as time goes on.

    Google gets close to 50% of their revenue from the US market, where they are bleeding market share faster than even IE is losing market share. Mashables ( ) is a bit hyperbolic when they suggest Bing will overtake Google in less than 9 months, but Google must be shaking in their boots losing 1% revenue and 1 billion in market cap every month and losing their monopoly pricing position.

    It seems Google has peaked, and Microsoft is on its second act.

    1. Paul M 1


      Wow - so it all sounds pretty rosy for Microsoft then.

      Seems a strange time for them to launch an anti-trust complaint against Google then, given how they're on the verge of overtaking them, no?

      1. Surur

        Its the best time.

        In fact its the best time. Why waste your money if the EU can help them?

  15. Goat Jam
    Gates Horns

    Hrrmph, Second Best Indeed

    "Microsoft has always held that without IE, its search engine would be a lost cause."

    ie, Without the ability to illegally leverage their monopoly in one market to gain traction in another, Bing would be a lost cause.

    So, remind me, who is suing who over anti competitive behaviour in the search engine market again?

  16. MJI Silver badge

    Bing - sorry I'm not a tin plate toy collector

    Can someone tell me why an article about search engines keeps on about a German Tin Plate toy manufacturer?

    What do they know about searching?

    EVERYONE knows web searching was Yahoo but is now Google. There are other providers but why would I trust a tin plate toy manufacturer?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bing is not only a German tin plate toy manufacturer.

      It is also a soft drink from Kent.

      What it is not is the next big thing in online search. Or any adequate size of thing in online search, for that matter.

      Their desperate attempts at market grab by paid product placement are particularly embarrassing. Anyone watched 'Gossip Girl', for example? Even 13 year old airheaded American girls called Debbie know that nobody, anywhere, ever, says 'Bing it'.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Soft drinks

        Never knew that.

        Soft drinks - I do mainly water.

        Other drinks - see icon

        As to small railway items - give me some Bachmann or Heljan please.

  17. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

    This is not surprising

    Especially when half the people I know first go to Google and then search the website to go to Facebook. When told why don't you put the address in the address bar I get weird looks and told no thats not the way the internet works.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      I've given up telling them

      If it works for them (and it's a lot less work just ignoring it than explaining how it really works)...

      1. MJI Silver badge

        I get fed up of watching google typed in

        Use the search box in the top right.

        However they are well trained enough to use address bar for their sites.

        Or just use bookmarks.

        Actually that is one of the best things about FF not having that US spelling under UK English

        1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

          Opera's web address field

          doubles as search field. Has done for years, initially (and still) by typing "g" space followed by Google search text. But now it does it if what you typed doesn't parse as a web address.

          However, for some amateur users this is a risk, instead of bookmarking they type in "Icesave" and get Google results but the real web site of Icesave may not be what comes first, such as now...

          Now, the mistake I keep making in IE8 at work is to switch the search type to dictionary or news or Wikipedia, and forget to switch it back, till I see that I've asked Wikipedia for yet another Google search such as (sd card cheap Glasgow) that neither of us wanted to have happen that way.

  18. Mikel

    No. Not gonna happen.

    WinPho is tanking, having lost one fifth its market share in the trailing three months. Another year of that and it's at zero. No help there.

    IE9 is niche at best. If it gets 100% of the installed base it can run on, it will hit 30% of desktops and 1% of mobile where the growth and money is. We all know it's more likely to get 30% of those, and that means it can't dominate the web and drive server-side technologies to the exclusion of standards-based browsers. It runs on effectively none of the 40-60 million tablets projected to sell this year. It can't reach what James Plamondon, Microsoft Chief Evangelist, called "critical mass". There is no possible control of the hearts and minds of developers, no chance to take ownership of the Web's protocols, formats and servers - which is the purpose for IE.

    So what we have here is Microsoft spending several billions of dollars a year to rent market share as if a temporary monopoly on the loser's corner of search was some corporate trophy their shareholders should care about. They're killing off all the remnants of failed search providers - some of whom had interesting alternative views on how search should be done. But Microsoft is not gaining any ground against Google and has no hope of doing so because Google search results are and always will be more relevant because to Google that's the top priority. Google is and always will be more trusted because Google doesn't have the long and sordid corporate history that Microsoft lays claim to.

    Where is the finish line? Where are the strawberry fields where the patient Microsoft shareholder reaps the reward for these investments? Nowhere. As soon as Microsoft stops pouring money down this hole we forget they ever tried. Google then owns in fee simple the properties Microsoft is evicted from. Google doesn't even have to be the bad guy for weeding out the interesting niche players as that chore is already done.

    In one sense Microsoft is paying vast sums of their shareholders' money to consolidate the remainder of the search market for Google, because when they give up - as ultimately they must - Google inherits their share as the last credible search engine standing.

    /I like badgers.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      "having lost one fifth its market share in the trailing three months. Another year of that and it's at zero."

      Unless it always loses a fifth, of course.

      Or maybe they're hoping for an arithmetic overflow to give them massive market share?

  19. Tom 13

    Google took a minimalist approach to the landing page

    and won converts by the millions over the bloated MSN page that was once the default page for IE. While Bing is an improvement over MSN, it is still bigger than Google. Most users want a fast loading page because they aren't really spending time on the first page.

    Google also spent money and effort working out that about 10 responses is what your typical user wants to see. They made it easy to customize if you want more.

    Combine those with a search engine algorithm that pops up what most people want to find, and you've got a number 1 product. If you want to displace the number 1 product, you need to make significant improvements on it. Not 1% or 3%, more like 20%. Essentially enough improvement for it to be worth it for the typical user to bother to change the settings.

    And I say that as someone who tries to use other search engines over Google these days.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      This is why they won

      Pre Google we all used various search engines such as Alta Vista and Yahoo - infact AFAIR Yahoo was search engine number 1 at the time.

      Google managed to beat all of these by returning useful searches.

      Everyone forgets Google got there on merit.

  20. dssf

    What I think ms is doing...

    It is trying to (through ad mouth pieces) "program" developers and marketing agencies to gear up for "The Second Coming of Bing" as if it is a foregone conclusion that they (developers, et al) will lose money if they continue with Android, Google, and so on.

    Yes, a reality distortion field. By the way, anything to the rumor of Apple and search engines?

    It would be interesting to see Apple pull off such a thnig and do with with flair and flare. Style for themselves, and hellish fire for ms. Considering that Apple has a huge LOYAL following (are ms users "loyal", or just don't know there are options besides ms?). Most computer users get ms by default and then don't break out of the cocoon. Most Apple users GO TO Apple, and tend to like what they see. Some users of either OS are multiplatform users, using even Linux if it is the right hammer for the nail they're pounding. But, for search, Google just isn't sexy in appearance. But, just like pregnancy, ultimately, looks tend to not matter if the goal is to produce something that lives and is what the searcher wanted. So far, it seems Google has produce a DogWolf, and ms has produced a Wolf/Duck/Lamb... (My analogies are falling apart...)

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