Bundling Won't Help Microsoft Bing Versus Google
Chitika, which recently analyzed search engine traffic through open source, did another study this past week and confirmed again that Microsoft Bing is not gaining significant traction.
Based on a sample of 163 million impressions from the United States and Canada across the Chitika network in early August, the ad network found that Bing, which Microsoft bundles with Internet Explorer, only logged 10.3 percent of IE users' searches.
This isn't much better than Bing's total market share of about 9 percent. Google, on the other hand, netted 74.2 percent of those 163 million searches through IE:
Dan Ruby, director of marketing for Chitika, used these results to conclude that Microsoft's bundling crown has been usurped by Google, the default search engine for Firefox, Safari and Chrome, where it logged 89.57 percent of the searches on those Web browsers.
Sure, Microsoft enjoyed monopolistic success in bundling IE with Windows, but that was before Firefox and Safari and before the rise of Google in search.
It was easy for Microsoft to lump IE with Windows, particularly because there weren't enough consumers begging for a choice in Web browsers.
Search is a different animal. Microsoft never successfully bundled search with IE because, well, Microsoft search pre-Bing was so inferior to Google.
Google was able to successfully bundle with Firefox and Safari via its toolbar because it provided such a better user experience over any Microsoft search option.
Microsoft has a lot of work to do in order to take any significant market share away from Google, but if they use their experience in bundling software, it appears that the opportunity is there to jump up to a majority of users.
Here's the irony of why this won't work: Microsoft's image as an Internet platform and application player is damaged and inspires mistrust because it so savagely hijacked the Web browser market with its bundling of IE on Windows a decade ago.
Does anyone really believe Microsoft can successfully bundle Bing with anything and gain more share? What magical machine, device or elixir would make users flock to Bing over Google?
I'd love to know, so tell me your bundling and marketing plan for Bing (though sorry to say you don't have $100 million with which to pitch!).
For the raw numbers, see the Chitika blog post here.