Bing: Survey Says, 'doomed'?

Posted: Jul 14 2009, 10:30am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 11 2010, 3:19pm CDT, in Technology News


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It's easy to get caught up in events as you watch them unfold. The Google/Bing drama has been a story that's been difficult to look at from an objective position. Microsoft's 100 million dollar ad campaign has kept Bing in the public eye, and its early successes have peppered us with a string of positive reports about Bing's present and future. When you're hearing stories like that, it can be difficult to remember that Bing is less than two months old.

That's what Microsoft's betting on. That's why every Bing milestone has gotten so much coverage. Microsoft wants us to focus on what Bing is doing and not on what Bing is, a newcomer to the search engine market without the staying power or innovation to conquer Google. Those are the sad facts, and they're backed up by hard evidence.

JP Morgan just hosted a survey that gives us a realistic look at Bing's chances. 98% of those queried said that they will not switch to Bing. The few who want to switch are almost universally users of other search engines. In other words, Google isn't going to lose any users to Bing, not in the long run.

The JP Morgan survey studied over 750 users above the age of 18. While 25% of them were willing to try Bing, almost none of them wanted to switch from Google. It's not that Microsoft's ads aren't reaching people; 59% of those studied had heard of it, and almost a quarter had already tried it. The problem is that only 38.9% of those who tried Bing used it more than 5 times last month.

To Bing's credit, most users seem to like it. The search engine usually got high scores in relevancy of search results, and its speed and user interface were also applauded. But that isn't enough to get people off of Google. Customers are used to the name, they trust the product, and they have absolutely no reason to alter their routines for something new. Only 10.6% of those studied said that they use Google any less since the launch of Bing.

Part of the reason for this is that people are happy with Google. While Microsoft's ad campaign has tried to convince users that searching is 'broken', most folks seem to be happy with the status quo. 62.6% of respondents didn't think anything was particularly wrong with current search engines. It's not going to be enough for Microsoft to provide a superior product and market the hell out of it, they have to find some way to push people away from Google.

As it stands, JP Morgan thinks Microsoft can grow to capture about 9.4% of the search engine market (they're at 7.1% right now). That's a respectable market share for a new search engine, but it's not close to what Microsoft (and Steve Ballmer) want. Their war with Google is shaping up to be a long one.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/5" rel="author">Robert Evans</a>
The excitement about new smartphones, tablets and anything mobile drive Robert to unearth the latest rumors and developments in this fast moving space. He adopted 4G as soon as it become available and knows where the mobile market is going.
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