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Microsoft's Growing Search Loses  (Source: CNN)
Bing may never turn a profit

Microsoft has been trying to compete in the search market with its Bing engine and hasn't been doing well. Google is still the runaway king of search and Microsoft is showing little signs of offering up meaningful competition.

Microsoft is taking a beating with Bing, and CNN reports that the search engine is losing Microsoft almost a 
billion dollars per quarter. Since Bing launched in the summer of 2009, Microsoft has lost $5.5 billion on the service and the losses are flowing faster than ever today.

Not all of the losses can be blamed on Bing though. Apparently, Microsoft has never made money on its search offerings. Since it embarked into search arena, the total mount thrown away amounts to $9 billion.

Bing has 14.7% of the search market and is proud to proclaim it is gaining on Google and has taken share from the search giant. CNN, however, points out that the gain Bing has made in the search market is in fact not coming from Google, but third place Yahoo. Since Bing launched, Google has lost market share slightly from 65% at Bing's debut to 64.8% today.

Half of the gains Bing has made came from Yahoo according to CNN and the rest of the gains came from Ask.com and AOL.

Microsoft is looking to build its market share with partnerships for search with Facebook and with Nokia. Microsoft and Nokia are tying up for a big push into the smartphone market with Nokia being a premiere Windows Phone 7 partner. 



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Who's cooking the books?
By SiliconJon on 9/22/2011 1:39:00 PM , Rating: 5
Are they building UFO's? Underground bases? Moon bases!?!

Or maybe something more earthly like laundering money? Drug smuggling? A front company loss for what?

Seriously, a billion dollars per quarter? That's four thousand people on a million dollar salary just sitting around playing Halo. Is there a position opening up I can sneak into?




RE: Who's cooking the books?
By Solandri on 9/22/2011 2:09:26 PM , Rating: 5
Early on they were literally giving away money. You could buy stuff off eBay via a Bing link and Microsoft would pay you up to a ridiculous 25% of your purchase price back. Alas they shut down that program earlier in the year. Now I suspect most of the money is paying for the Bing bar to be auto-installed when you install various software.

I think Microsoft is carrying over too much of its desktop Windows and Office mentality here. But unlike OSes and apps, you are not beholden to a single search engine for the sake of compatibility, so paying people to use your service won't necessarily make them stick to it. People can and will switch on a whim. Altavista and Yahoo were the early search leaders. Google crushed them because their search generated better results, not because they paid people to switch.

One area where I can see someone improving on Google is separating out commercial sites from content sites. Whenever I search for a review of a product, I have to sift through pages of store ads ("be the first to review...") in Google's results to pick out a handful of real reviews. If Microsoft would concentrate on improving things like that, they'd start stealing market share from Google.


RE: Who's cooking the books?
By Breathless on 9/22/2011 3:07:27 PM , Rating: 4
Nice idea, I hate those crappy non review - review sites.


RE: Who's cooking the books?
By augiem on 9/22/2011 5:14:49 PM , Rating: 3
I totally agree. Google is infested with ads and spam sites. They claim to have all these wonderful algorithms to sort content, yet they fail so miserably.

I'm also tired of the latest trendy stuff always coming up at the top. This is more like an adware/trendsposting engine than a meaningful content search system. It's plain to see the algorithms are focused on what's hot NOW, not an overall search of the archive that is the web.


RE: Who's cooking the books?
By augiem on 9/22/2011 5:16:43 PM , Rating: 2
when I said "sort content" I meant filter content.


RE: Who's cooking the books?
By skibum415 on 9/23/11, Rating: 0
RE: Who's cooking the books?
By B3an on 9/23/2011 1:38:17 PM , Rating: 1
I find many Bing areas to be better than Google. Infact Google has recently copied Bing in areas, like the way image searches are now displayed.


RE: Who's cooking the books?
By JonnyDough on 9/23/2011 3:02:22 PM , Rating: 2
Bing certainly has come a long way with filtering/sorting options. In fact, Google could be just a bit better at these things IMO. I'd have to check, but does their shopping feature still say "beta" on it?


RE: Who's cooking the books?
By johnsmith9875 on 9/22/2011 3:17:08 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft really failed when users couldn't Bing on their Zune


RE: Who's cooking the books?
By johnsmith9875 on 9/28/2011 2:17:06 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft is part of the National Reconissance Office of course. They're the new $400 hammer and $2000 toilet seat procurement-wise. Bing is just a cover expenditure.


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