Building Up Bings Market Infrastructure
5. Microsoft knows partnerships
Microsoft announced recently that it has inked a deal with Motorola to deliver search services to the company's upcoming slate of mobile phones in China. And as an investor in Facebook, the company has been able to offer its search service to the social network's more than 400 million active users. If nothing else, Microsoft understands the value of a strong partnership. And it capitalizes on those partnerships whenever it can.
6. The Yahoo relationship
The Yahoo-Microsoft search pact is extremely important for Microsoft. Although the software giant doesn't own Yahoo, it finally can control the Web company's search service, effectively combining its own market share with Yahoo's. That's extremely important. The only reason Microsoft is competing in search is to capitalize on the highly profitable Web advertising space. The more market share, the better its chances of generating a big profit on Web advertising. The Yahoo deal will only help.
7. The extras
Microsoft currently offers a wide array of extra search features that compete quite well with Google's. Users can search for images, news, videos and more with Bing. One of its finer offerings is Bing Maps, which in my experience bests Google Maps on several fronts. And although some view it as more of a gimmick than a valuable search option, Bing's Visual Search tool is actually quite handy. Bing offers some nice extras that could easily attract more users to the site.
8. Social networking
The Bing platform goes beyond offering search to social networks such as Facebook. Currently, only Bing displays all Facebook status updates in its search results. Twitter teets also show up in Bing search results. Admittedly, Google offers Facebook status updates from Facebook Pages only (an important distinction) and also displays tweets, but Microsoft has done a better job of partnering with popular social networks and more users will likely start noticing this.
9. Don't forget cash
Aside from features and services, Bing has another important resource that could help it catch up to Google: Microsoft's cash. Microsoft has the financial resources it needs to take on Google every step of the way. If Google acquires companies to help it improve search, Microsoft can do the same. If Google spends money to improve its search, Microsoft can follow suit. Dollar for dollar, Google has no advantage over Microsoft.
10. Microsoft's focus
Microsoft's success in gaining some ground on Google can be directly attributed to the company's renewed sense of urgency. Gone are the days when Microsoft would rake in the cash without worrying about competition. Today, Microsoft is extremely worried about its future. It's concerned that Google will corner the Web market and leave Microsoft with scraps. Because of that, Microsoft has done a much better job of delivering viable Web experiences. And its market share is growing because of it.