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Bing Bleeding Billions

A co-worker of mine, Dana Vedder (I haven't asked if she's related to Eddie), tipped me off to an analysis of Bing financials from CNNMoney.

Perhaps overlooked in a recent financial analysts meeting is the fact that Microsoft loses a cool (actually an uncool) billion dollars a quarter on Bing. The money is going into making the search engine not just good enough to counter Google, but hopefully better enough to beat it.

There is some good news: Bing nearly doubled its market share in recent years from 8.4 percent to nearly 15 percent. Impressive? Well, that all just came from Yahoo replacing its own engine with Bing. Can you say automatic increase?

So what is Microsoft's plan? Keep shelling out those billions and build something very different from Google -- something far more context sensitive and something that can use natural language queries instead of short, correctly spelled words and phrases.

My son David looked into Bing, and wrote a cover story for Redmond magazine a couple years ago called "Bing, Bang Boom." He talked to about a dozen of you faithful Redmond Report readers who thought, while not perfect, Bing was pretty dang good.

Also check out Microsoft analyst Mary Jo Foley's column from last month where she gives her insight on why Microsoft will continue to stick with Bing.

What do you want from search and do you really care who wins this war? Share at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 09/23/2011 at 1:18 PM


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