Microsoft Bing occupied 5.25 percent of the U.S. online search market during June, its first month of wide release, and also managed to grow at an average rate of 25 percent per week during the period, according to research company Hitwise. However, it remains to be seen whether Bing can maintain its momentum against Yahoo and Google once Microsoft begins to moderate its massive advertising budget for the project.
Microsoft's Bing search engine owned 5.25 percent of the U.S.
online search market in the four weeks ending June 27, growing at an average
rate of 25 percent per week, according to research company Hitwise. However,
Google and Yahoo remained atop the search engine heap, with 74 percent and 16.2
The same study found Ask.com bringing up fourth place in the search market,
with 3.15 percent.
Bing represents a huge bet for Microsoft,
which is reportedly pouring in between $80 million and $100 million as part of
an intensive marketing effort. Since its June 3 launch, Bing
has managed to gain small but significant market share,
according to most
research companies monitoring its progress; StatCounter, for example, found
that the site gained 8.23 percent in June, as compared with when Microsoft's
search engine was named Live Search and hovered around 7 percent market share.
Despite gains for Bing, which combines traditional "page of
hyperlinks" search with tabs that allow access to specific categories such
as Shopping and Video, Microsoft may have an uphill battle if it wants to take
more of Google and Yahoo's market sahre.
A small case study by the Catalyst Group found that Bing
search drew high marks from users in its design and search results
those users felt a greater attachment to the Google brand, making them
reluctant to switch despite what they thought were superior Bing features.
However, given the sample size of the study, the results can be viewed as far
The question becomes whether Bing can maintain its growth and position even
after advertising for it inevitably begins to decline. Some IT leaders think
Carol Bartz, CEO of Yahoo,
said during a
technology conference in New York
on June 3 that Microsoft was "not going to get scale through Bing"
and that any surge in popularity would be "temporary."
Perhaps aware that the situation could eventually turn either way, Microsoft
CEO Steve Ballmer has likewise suggested
that Bing has a long way to go.
"We have had some very good initial response," Ballmer told The
National Summit, in Detroit, on
June 17. "I don't want to over-set expectations. We are going to have to
be tenacious and keep up the pace of innovation over a long period of