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First take/Bing

Here’s an unlikely bright spot for Microsoft: Bing, the search engine that seemed not many years ago like almost an ego toy for the execs at Redmond, something to wave at Google while never really threatening it.

There’s a little more threat now.

The analyst company comScore says that while Google is still way out ahead with about 64% of the overall search market, Bing is growing, to 21% – enough that a substantial number of people are becoming familiar with it. (Over here, I lean toward Google but give Bing a try here and there, and find it delivers about as well.)

The increase, says the Puget Sound Business Journal, is “a significant step forward for Microsoft’s search engine, which back in 2011 bled more than $1 billion per quarter. Bing was such a pariah among investors that only a few years ago some were suggesting Microsoft sell off or kill the business.”

The most recent quarter was Bing’s first as a profit-making venture. It likely won’t be the last.

The generally favorable response, and movement generally into the marketplace of Windows 10, may be a significant part of the reason.

That may somewhat over-represent Bing’s place in the market, since some mobile and other devices still show it as maintaining only a very low level of activity.

But it does seem to be picking up. Google may be getting some competition, and that’s not a bad thing. –rs (image/Ivan Walsh)

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