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Microsoft Betting on Bing for Mobile Search

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the htdig-is-enough-for-anyone dept.

Microsoft 204

msmoriarty writes "Bing is a still a money loser for Microsoft, and the calls for the company to sell it off are growing. But according to long-time Microsoft watcher Mary-Jo Foley, dumping Bing is just not going to happen. 'While the world sees Bing as a distant No. 2 search engine, Microsoft brass and bean counters see Bing as a reusable component and asset that will be built into more and more products. Those who think Microsoft will discard Bing or sell it to the highest bidder are dead wrong — that won't happen now or any time soon.'"

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204 comments

Google Monopoly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36886756)

Google needs to be broken up.

Re:Google Monopoly (3, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#36886782)

Monopolies are legal in the US.

You need to demonstrate their strong-arming or abuse, or the harm to the consumer.

The fact that we got easy access to a new search engine recently demonstrates that the consumer isn't harmed.

Re:Google Monopoly (2)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 2 years ago | (#36886928)

The fact that we got easy access to a new search engine recently demonstrates that Google isn't a monopoly.

Re:Google Monopoly (2)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887020)

But we're not really the customers. The customers are the companies with websites who want to be visited on the internet and they have to do what Google demands.

Re:Google Monopoly (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887106)

Counterpoint: no it doesn't.

Making statements with no supporting arguments is a much more efficient way of arguing on the internet. The next step is trading ad homenim attacks (I'm going to call you stupid probably, just a heads up, nothing personal it's just what I do) and then one of us is going to Godwin and we'll both win.

Re:Google Monopoly (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887682)

Well, I don't think that works, or is particularly necessary.

There really aren't any significant *market* barriers to entry in the areas Google plays in. It's not like you have to agree to go through Google to get customers for your web site, the way music companies have to go through Apple if they want a significant audience in the mobile music market. Nor do you have to target APIs or formats that only Google understands in order to target web users, the way you' have to if you want to complete against MS Office on Windows. Google is a company built on standards and well documented APIs.

To compete with Google in an area like web email or on-line mapping, what you need to do is invest a ton of dough on data infrastructure. The huge, fast, distributed infrastructure makes it easy for Google to bring up new, huge web products. Breaking Google up wouldn't make it any cheaper for a competitor to enter the market. It would make it more costly for Google to enter new markets because its existing resources would be balkanized.

With just a 27% share of the U.S. search market (5, Insightful)

hardtofindanick (1105361) | more than 2 years ago | (#36886798)

I don't really understand why owning 27% of the search market is being shown as a failure. It may be below expectations, but it is still considerable. The search results are more decent then ever and at least google felt threatened enough to honeypot it. BTW I still use Google.

Re:With just a 27% share of the U.S. search market (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36886888)

I don't really understand why owning 27% of the search market is being shown as a failure. It may be below expectations, but it is still considerable

I imagine the general idea is that Microsoft could get 27% of any market if they can successfully bundle their offering with Windows. I'm sure they consider that to be minimally acceptable, at best.

Re:With just a 27% share of the U.S. search market (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887556)

Yep this is the only way to increase Bing's market share: make it the default search provider for a browser and hope that most people won't bother to switch. And with a bunch of WP7 devices coming out, they have another opportunity to improve Bing's "popularity."

Re:With just a 27% share of the U.S. search market (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887690)

Yep this is the only way to increase Bing's market share: make it the default search provider for a browser and hope that most people won't bother to switch. And with a bunch of WP7 devices coming out, they have another opportunity to improve Bing's "popularity."

And this is wrong because...?

Re:With just a 27% share of the U.S. search market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36886894)

Calls to not sell Bing means they're trying to raise bids. They'll sell it to Zuckerberg before FB goes belly-up like myfriendster.

Re:With just a 27% share of the U.S. search market (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36886974)

It's the "losing money" part that shareholders tend not to like... Market share certainly has its uses; but it isn't an end in itself. Some investors are more patient than others; but sooner or later they will demand that either the division stop losing money, demonstrate how its utility to other divisions that aren't losing money makes up for its costs, or be scrapped.

If anything, the fact that Microsoft is the #2 search player, commands almost a third of the market, and still isn't making money at it probably makes people more nervous about them. Losing money temporarily in order to gain enough marketshare for some sort of economies of scale/mindshare breakthrough/whatever pixie dust is floating around is practically a comforting tradition for tech market types. Being an established player and still dragging out each year in the red just makes you unpopular...

Re:With just a 27% share of the U.S. search market (4, Informative)

m2vq (2417438) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887018)

What I found stupid about the whole thing was the sentence

While the world sees Bing as a distant No. 2 search engine

Yeah yeah, slashdot has the FAQ point about it being US-centric site. But including the word "world"? That maybe true for US, but it varies by country. For example Yandex is the largest search engine in Russia and Baidu is in China, and they both lead Google by miles.

Re:With just a 27% share of the U.S. search market (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887760)

Yeah yeah, slashdot has the FAQ point about it being US-centric site. But including the word "world"? That maybe true for US, but it varies by country. For example Yandex is the largest search engine in Russia and Baidu is in China, and they both lead Google by miles.

Is that lead measured in number of users or revenue? In business, the latter is usually seen as more important.

Re:With just a 27% share of the U.S. search market (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887144)

That combined with almost many of the products that MS has launched in the last decade under Ballmer haven't been very profitable makes investors unhappy. With the exception of Office and OS, they haven't made a lot of money elsewhere. Xbox is finally turning a profit these days but still in the red overall. It is understandable that after 10 years, investors want MS to focus on launching products that produce profits.

Re:With just a 27% share of the U.S. search market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887052)

The problem is that even though they may have (an estimated) 27% of the market, they're just not making it profitable in the many years they had it (used to be MSN Search) and thus shareholders are calling for it to be sold off. This does not mean that a search engine can't be profitable with a low market share, many other companies are doing it (usually with a specific market in mind), it's just Microsoft can't pull it off probably because of bad management and historical cruft making the engine a lot heavier than it is supposed to be. Just compare how fast Google is and how little bandwidth it uses compared to Bing that seems to need a lot of bling but can't give any better results.

Re:With just a 27% share of the U.S. search market (2, Informative)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887082)

I don't really understand why owning 27% of the search market is being shown as a failure.

Perhaps because they don't [hitslink.com] "own" 27% of the search market, or anywhere close to it?

Google has 83.62%, Yahoo 6.21% (not "owned" by Microsoft but I suppose you could see it as rented) and Bing 3.57%.

They may have a larger share local to you but that isn't enough to avoid losing billions of dollars on an ongoing basis. To get anywhere close to Google's market share (and thus hopefully reduce their losses) would take massive gains over what they have now.

Re:With just a 27% share of the U.S. search market (1)

m2vq (2417438) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887152)

You're linking to global stats. not U.S. stats. Google isn't doing so great in countries like Russia or China either, and US is the most profitable market (and the GP is also referring to it in the post, see title)

Re:With just a 27% share of the U.S. search market (2)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887348)

You're linking to global stats. not U.S. stats. Google isn't doing so great in countries like Russia or China either, and US is the most profitable market (and the GP is also referring to it in the post, see title)

He referred to it in his title, but in his post he asked why having 27% market share is seen as failure. It's a global market. Saying "yeah, but they have 100% in my house/town/city/country" doesn't cut it when people are comparing them to Google who have over 80% worldwide. Maybe you're right that the US is the most profitable market for web search (cite?) for Google or others but it doesn't seem to be profitable for Microsoft - or are all the losses for their search business arising in other countries?

Re:With just a 27% share of the U.S. search market (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887126)

Because the one-time income generated by a sale could generate more dividends for shareholders than keeping Bing for the next quarter. After all, the only metric that matters is the profit generated next quarter. Quick, MSFT! Sell your XBox division! It's been a net loss so far, too.

For the sarcasm impaired: the above was sarcasm. Please refrain from pointing out the idiocy of the advocated actions, as that is implied.

The Xbox Fiasco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887278)

Gotta love the attempt to use the 8 billion dollar 10 year long Xbox fiasco as some sort of support for Microsoft's equally disastrous failure in search.

Hilarious!

Xbox 360
Six years on the market. Last place in worldwide sales. Built out of the cheapest and shittiest hardware in history. And its real losses hidden by the entire Microsoft E&D Division.

And now with the RRoD plagued Xbox 360 at the end of its sad and pathetic life it will require yet more billions from Microsoft if they are stupid enough to remain in the console market after two straight marketplace failures with the Xbox and Xbox 360.

Gee! With 'amazing' products like Bing,Xbox, and Windows Phone can't imagine why Microsoft's stock price has been dead for over a decade and the computing world calling for Ballmer to be fired...

Re:The Xbox Fiasco (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887584)

Somebody else who doesn't understand the concept of sunk cost or long-term planning. Keep trolling, AC.

LOL! Dimwitted Xbot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887646)

A fucking idiotic Xbot trying to lecture someone about 'sunk cost or long-term planning'.

The stupidity! It burns!

Exactly what you would expect from someone dumb enough to buy the biggest piece of shit console in the history of gaming.

Having fun with your Sony Eye Toy ripoff(aka Kinect) faggot?

Re:The Xbox Fiasco (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887738)

Long term planning is one thing but according to their last quarterly report, MS only made $32M profit on the E&D division. How long would it take to pay back the initial losses at that rate? Decades at the least. I'm pretty sure Sony and Nintendo will launch another console by then. It doesn't look like the XBox will make break even in terms of hardware alone.

Re:The Xbox Fiasco (1)

Trilkin (2042026) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887778)

What is the color of the sky in your world where the 360 has been even considered close to a failure? Is there a big Sony or Nintendo logo made out of clouds there?

Re:With just a 27% share of the U.S. search market (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887158)

If you've thrown as much money as Microsoft has over the last fifteen years to try to buy itself the predominant web portal, I'd say that if all it bought you was 27% to 30%, with no real likelihood that you'll ever get an even split, I'd call it an abject failure.

Re:With just a 27% share of the U.S. search market (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887416)

In the end market share means little for the company, and it hurts. Bing is bleeding money, from top to bottom they are pooring more and more into it, spending massive money on advertisements, bundling deals etc... development, and at the end of the day what they have using their service just isn't paying the bills. Just a hypothetical scenerio, lets say out of the blue microsoft instantly and magically came up with a technology or push that all of a sudden 75% of the US was using bing, but the cost to run bing are still greater then the money they make, bing now costs microsoft 3.5 billion a year, and makes back 3.1 billion a year. Meanwhile google being cut to 25% market share is now reduced to making 500 million a year,but is spending only 300 million a year to keep things moving. In the end google would be able to stay alive, and rapidly make money, while microsoft would have dominance in the search market, while accomplishing nothing more then harming themselves.

Re:With just a 27% share of the U.S. search market (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887520)

I don't really understand why owning 27% of the search market is being shown as a failure.

Success, failure - these are highly subjective terms. If Microsoft set itself the goal of being the #1 search engine by now then yeah, they have failed. If they wanted over a quarter of the market, then they have succeeded. However a pretty objective measure of failure is the fact that they are not making money with this project, regardless of what their "share" is.

At around 30% marketshare (5, Insightful)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 2 years ago | (#36886812)

What incentive does Microsoft have to ceding search (and search related ads) to Google? It has nearly 30% US marketshare and it's growing [pcmag.com] (combined with Yahoo, which uses Bing for its backend).

When Bing first launched, Bing scared Google [cnet.com] and forced them to start innovating again. Competition is good after all. Even if Bing dies off, I see no advantage, as a consumer, to have Bing disappear. I also see no advantage, for (not as) an investor to cede that entire domain to one of their two biggest competitors. Throw away the entire investment that has signs of paying off in the future, and give a major investor even more money to play with to cut into your market? That's really the best idea?

Having some competition certainly helps spur production and innovation. After all, Windows Vista took so long because they had no serious competition until OS X started seriously stealing the spotlight. Apple gave them a good reason to produce faster, and at a higher quality (Windows 7).

Fail. Microsoft's Search Engine Only Has 14% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36886916)

Gotta love the desperate Microsoft fanboy 'math'.

Re:Fail. Microsoft's Search Engine Only Has 14% (1)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 2 years ago | (#36886976)

See quote from my original post, which you responded to:

(combined with Yahoo, which uses Bing for its backend)

It even has a reference link.

Oops. Guess math works.

Aww! Poor Liddle MS Fanboy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887048)

That's right you fucking faggot. Your piece of shit search engine is such a fucking failure Microsoft is forced to bribe other failed search engines just to fabricate marketshare numbers.

Let me guess cocksucker, you also get your console sales numbers from Microsoft fanboys fake console sales number sites like vgchartz cuz they make teh Microsoft numbers bigger.

Get the fuck off this site you fucking loser.

Re:Aww! Poor Liddle MS Fanboy (0)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887090)

Haha. Throw in logic, and it brings up this. The funny thing is that I am typing this from Google Chrome, with Google as the default search engine.

Boo hoo. I have a brain and can think reasonably. I'm only surprised you didn't use "M$" throughout your post.

Re:Aww! Poor Liddle MS Fanboy (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887142)

Don't feed the trolls. Just smile and back away.

Re:Aww! Poor Liddle MS Fanboy (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887182)

I'm not sure... in this case I think he actually made the troll cry.

Re:Aww! Poor Liddle MS Fanboy (2)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887198)

And now I have a bad 80's tune stuck in my head: "... this is what it sounds like, when tolls cry...."

Re:Aww! Poor Liddle MS Fanboy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887184)

The funny thing is that I am typing this from Google Chrome.... I have a brain and can think reasonably.

Yeah right.

Yawn - Standard MS Fanboy Talking Points (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887188)

What is it with Microsoft fanboys? Every damn time they get caught spewing garbage they resort to the same juvenile 'I am a fan of X competing product/company'.

It's like they think everyone just joined the Internet yesterday.

Dude, give the act a rest. You aren't fooling anyone.

Re:At around 30% marketshare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36886942)

At a cost of 2.6 billion a year, that's plenty of reason to sell it. That's 2.6 billion lost despite having a 30% market share. MS probably has a much higher overhead cost compared to Google where search is their core product. That means even if they dominate the search market, their profit will be low.

Quite simply, search to MS is no different than IE. It brings no value to the company other then as a possible tie-in or branding. And unlike IE, search being a tie-in is relatively weak due to ease of switching.

That said, pissing money like this really doesn't mean much to the company so it might be worth it to the company despite it's low value.

Your Own Link Shows 4% And Shrinking (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36886962)

Your own damn link shows Bing with less than 4 percent worldwide marketshare and it is shrinking while Google is growing.

Bing is garbage and Microsoft's billions isn't ever going to change that.

Re:Your Own Link Shows 4% And Shrinking (1)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887046)

My own "damn link" literally says, quote:

30% US marketshare and it's growing

[emphasis mine]

And frankly, the only thing that prevents me from using Bing is it's code searching. It really does not handle queries related to code well at all. Everything else seems pretty much even with Google. Unfortunately for Microsoft, I use Google as my default because of that limitation.

Re:Your Own Link Shows 4% And Shrinking (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887120)

Very well, your handle has been noted and saved in every patent troll lawyer's database. Now they are going to go after your employers dunning money for "patent infringements" caused by rampant employee code searches and the culture that tolerated, promoted and even demanded it. They would not say clearly what code was searched and what exactly was violated, but they repeatedly hammer, "employees admitting in public fora that they engage in code searches trawling the net for code to plagiarize and they faced no fear of censure".

Re:Your Own Link Shows 4% And Shrinking (1)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887268)

I think you're joking, but I do want to be clear here: I'm more nervous if you don't do code searches. After all, that particularly includes the Java API, C++ STL, MSDN, and StackOverflow (when looking for software patterns).

More power to you if you have every API that you use memorized, but there are more important things to memorize.

Also, I hate that I slipped in an "it's" when I meant "its" in the post you replied to.

What an idiot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887408)

No one gives a shit about your opinion dummy...

Re:At around 30% marketshare (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887388)

Vista took so long because they had to keep turfing Longhorn functionality because all those teams had produced virtually nothing that was ready for market. Vista was about as much evidence as anyone needed that Microsoft had lost its edge. Even now, Windows XP is still newer versions of Windows worst competition.

As to Bing, Microsoft has thrown so much money at it and basically bought the penetration they would have gotten if they had just left up msn.com or live.com as the default page. It has been an extraordinary waste of money, costing well in excess of the vast and largely pointless investment in building THE web portal that Microsoft has been trying since Windows 95.

Bing's big victory so far? Why, Yahoo, as it sinks into the forgettable soup of yesterday's companies, started using it as its engine.

Re:At around 30% marketshare (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887400)

After all, Windows Vista took so long because they had no serious competition until OS X started seriously stealing the spotlight. Apple gave them a good reason to produce faster, and at a higher quality (Windows 7).

That's not how I remember it. Vista took so long because it was badly managed. Now you could say the goals of Vista were too lofty and unreachable as well. The only factor OS X had was that it embarrassed the hell out of MS that Apple at a fraction of their size and once considered to be dying was able to release new versions every 2 years or so while changing the hardware architecture twice.

Re:At around 30% marketshare (1)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887590)

That's not how I remember it. Vista took so long because it was badly managed. Now you could say the goals of Vista were too lofty and unreachable as well.

But you don't think the two issues are related?

After XP, without competition, Microsoft had no reason to spend a ton of money and quickly release a new version. They had too much time to sit back and collect their money while developing Vista at an exceptionally slow and mismanaged pace because there was nothing breathing down their necks. Once competition reared its head, Microsoft got its act together and fixed many of its management problems.

At the time, the embarrassment to Microsoft was both deserved and damning. The somewhat sad thing is that I see Apple falling into the exact same position as Microsoft following XP, as Microsoft readies Windows 8, and with Apple having just released Lion, which offers only a few features of merit (Mission Control being the top pick even though it's just an improved version of existing features).

Re:At around 30% marketshare (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887596)

Not quite. Vista took so long because all development was halted for a period of time in order to work on security changes for Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 SP1. By the time work continued on it enough time had passed for a major release and they didn't have that amount of work to justify it, so the project managers took a couple of other projects which were far enough long to be product-ized and forced them into the equation to provide the appearance of a major release. So there was bad management in play, but mostly in trying to fix the perception of the amount of work to the amount of time elapsed.

The sad thing is that the failure of Vista is largely a matter of perception and not of reality. The differences between Vista and Windows 7 are exceedingly minimal, the biggest difference being the amount of time that hardware manufacturers had to get the kinks worked out of the drivers.

Re:At around 30% marketshare (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887820)

The reality that MS allowed the hardware vendors to release a ton of sub spec machines at launch shaped that perception more then anything else. If they had retained tighter control over the OEMs it would have gone a long way in shaping a more positive perception of Vista.

Re:At around 30% marketshare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887488)

What incentive does Microsoft have to ceding search (and search related ads) to Google?

2.6 billion in losses per year.

Sad (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 2 years ago | (#36886832)

Sad that Google has all the data that maps from keyword searches to clicked links that make Google far better than any search engine that is less used. This is the lifeblood of any search engine. Thinking of which, doesn't that data actually belong to all us who generate it? Maybe the DoJ should get involved and get Google to reveal this data to other search engines before Google becomes an abusing monopoly(if it hasn't already happened, see lawsuits). Bing got panned on here and elsewhere for trying to get a little of this data after getting permission from people who installed the Bing bar.

Also, how is it not monopoly abuse that Google Maps, Finance, etc. etc. get heavy promotion(not even an ad) on Google search engine which leads to smaller players like Yahoo Maps and MapQuest getting killed off? How is this different from IE vs. Netscape? http://searchengineland.com/the-problems-with-googles-house-ads-48325 [searchengineland.com]

  Monopoly abuse happens to all companies, monopolies eventually suck, atleast Bing is trying.

Re:Sad (2)

Fantom42 (174630) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887026)

Why does that data belong to you, or anyone who generated it? You aren't the ones that paid to collected, index, and stored this information. The information belongs to Google.

Re:Sad (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887214)

This is kind of similar to the Office file formats. MS paid millions or tens of millions of dollars to design, develop those but was still forced to open them up to competitors by the EU courts because of public interest. An analog in the real word is eminent domain in the US etc. And Google can still charge competitors the cost incurred to transfer the data i.e bandwidth, labor etc.

Also, another analogue is telephone directory, it was ruled that the data belongs to the public and thus can be copied even if the owners of White Pages compiled it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feist_v._Rural [wikipedia.org]

Re:Sad (2)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887438)

It's nothing at all like Office file formats.

And data is not copyrightable, which is why the data in the phone book is (legally) copyable. It is true that the data Google collects is also not copyrightable, but that doesn't mean Google has to give it to anyone. (The phone book is distributed to subscribers.)

Re:Sad (1)

lgarner (694957) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887110)

Sad that Google has all the data that maps from keyword searches to clicked links that make Google far better than any search engine that is less used. This is the lifeblood of any search engine. Thinking of which, doesn't that data actually belong to all us who generate it? Maybe the DoJ should get involved and get Google to reveal this data to other search engines before Google becomes an abusing monopoly ...

Sure, and every website that you visit should be required to turn over its access logs or make them public.

2.6 Billion In Losses Just This Past Year (5, Insightful)

AddisonW (2318666) | more than 2 years ago | (#36886840)

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/25/business/bing-becomes-a-costly-distraction-for-microsoft-breakingviews.html [nytimes.com]

I don't know how anyone could possibly suggest anyone would ever dream of wanting to buy Microsoft's failed search engine.

Re:2.6 Billion In Losses Just This Past Year (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887200)

How do you lose $2.6 billion on a web-crawler?

Did they try to replicate Google all at once?

Re:2.6 Billion In Losses Just This Past Year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887372)

They bought their data storage from EMC... j/k.

Re:2.6 Billion In Losses Just This Past Year (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887312)

I feel this view is very myopic. Obviously a product has more worth than the exactly dollar value it brings into the company. Bing is obviously core to Microsoft's overall strategy, and it has the potential to generate incredible revenue in the future. They could be very willing to nurse it through infancy and incur years of losses. Other companies who might purchase it potentially do not have the cash hoard to do this. The author mentions Facebook as a potential buyer. Does he seriously think Facebook has the cash and clout to take on Google in the search arena?

Further, we don't know precisely how much Bing is losing Microsoft. Microsoft reported $2.6 billion in losses in their Online Services, which is composed of much more than Bing: MSN, Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Messenger, Exchange, SharePoint, Live Meeting, Office Communicator, etc. Obviously Microsoft has a lot more information than us about exactly how well Bing is doing, and they're keeping it.

Re:2.6 Billion In Losses Just This Past Year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887332)

Bing has quite a bit of valuable IP surrounding it. TFA suggests that the problem is not the technology, but a packaging surrounding the tech that does not inherently draw traffic. Yes, it is the default on IE, but Google pays companies like Mozzilla which make more popular browsers to have Google as the default search engine (and the homepage), along with most mobile browsers. This is a disadvantage not inherent to the technology, but to Microsoft as a company without strong online services branding.

TFA suggests that a company like Facebook, which already has high-traffic and a greater online mindshare, could use that IP better than Microsoft in a way that advertisers would take to. I am inclined to agree with TFA, but MS execs apparently feel that Bing is valuable enough as an R&D project with future potential, if not an immediately monetizable investment. Or maybe MS wants some of Googles online mindshare to build the brand. Hard to say.

Re:2.6 Billion In Losses Just This Past Year (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887412)

MS execs have been telling themselves that for fifteen years. Microsoft's web strategy has always been "throw enough shit at the wall, and surely something will kill Webcrawler/Altavista/Lycos/Yahoo/Google/Whatever-comes-next."

Microsoft has been profoundly inept at marketing its web offerings. I'd say sell it to Zuckerberg, but with some sort of licensing agreement if the tech is all that impressive. At least Facebook might be able to do something with it, because Microsoft has little enough hope.

Re:2.6 Billion In Losses Just This Past Year (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887508)

How much of those costs are amortizing NRE expenses? It's hard to imagine that they're spending billions on server maintenance.

Yet another millstone (1)

rubypossum (693765) | more than 2 years ago | (#36886850)

I've tried Bing again and again hoping that it would replace Google for me. I keep wishing that someone, even if it's evil MS, will provide some serious competition in the search market. I'll keep trying Bing every year and probably keep going back to Google. Let's hope they really decide to up the ante and do something completely new and original. It's uncharacteristic of MS, but maybe they'll acquire a start-up that has something new?

Whatever (0)

SethThresher (1958152) | more than 2 years ago | (#36886864)

As far as I'm concerned, Bing works just fine on my WP7, is actually just slightly better at getting me relevant results that I've happened to want while I was on the road away from my desktop, and looks marvelous either way. I'm happy with it.

Incidentally, a search for the Team Fortress 2 official wiki on Bing brings you just that as its first result, whereas on Google you get an old, defunct fake version of the real thing, which I suspect stays at the #1 spot due to SEO abuse. Just throwing that out there.

Re:Whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36886946)

On the mobile side it's very nice, I have no qualms. Still not fond of it desktop side(eventhough it should use the same backend), but maybe that's just habit.

Re:Whatever (1)

SethThresher (1958152) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887506)

Yeah the mobile side I think is strangely better than the desktop version. It's hard to put my finger on it, but it just seems to work better.

Re:Whatever (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36886950)

Incidentally, a search for the Team Fortress 2 official wiki on Bing brings you just that as its first result, whereas on Google you get an old, defunct fake version of the real thing, which I suspect stays at the #1 spot due to SEO abuse. Just throwing that out there.

Really? [tinyurl.com] Funny, it doesn't seem to actually do that...

As an aside, is the brain damage a side effect of guzzling Ballmer's semen, or was that just why you started doing it?

Re:Whatever (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887022)

Google uses hundreds of variables(location, search history, etc. etc.) to determine search ranking. So it's not surprising to see different results for different people.

Re:Whatever (0)

SethThresher (1958152) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887538)

Well Anonymous Coward, I apologize for not seeing your comment before answering a nearly identical one below yours, so let me just copy paste my response to theirs since it merits the same exact response:

I was going for just a general search of "TF2 wiki", my bad for implying the search was for the official one. Look up that one and see what I mean. Look, I'll even give you the url for that very search: http://www.google.com/search?q=tf2+wiki [google.com]

As for the windows phone remarks, I say with confidence that I don't like either the iOS or Android interfaces, and the Metro interface is a very attractive design alternative to me. The UI is intuitive, and the keyboard works great with my enormous, manly hands. It does exactly what I want it to, with no extra crap and clutter. I waited until the full NoDo update to pick it up, so I didn't even have to "suffer" through the travesty of not having copy+paste. To me, a smartphone is a smartphone, they all do the same basic functions at this point. The only distinctions are the trappings, and my history with the two main schools of thought leave a bad taste in my mouth. Why should I care the masses want me to buy one phone over the other when I know exactly what I want?

In short, I love my phone, so deal with it.

What an endorsement (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887138)

There are a lot of phones out there and you picked a windows phone...

About the only advice I would take from you is on what straight jacket to choose. What one did you find hardest to chew through?

Tried your search result, you are wrong.

Re:What an endorsement (0)

SethThresher (1958152) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887478)

I was going for just a general search of "TF2 wiki", my bad for implying the search was for the official one. Look up that one and see what I mean. Look, I'll even give you the url for that very search: http://www.google.com/search?q=tf2+wiki [google.com]

As for the windows phone remarks, I say with confidence that I don't like either the iOS or Android interfaces, and the Metro interface is a very attractive design alternative to me. The UI is intuitive, and the keyboard works great with my enormous, manly hands. It does exactly what I want it to, with no extra crap and clutter. I waited until the full NoDo update to pick it up, so I didn't even have to "suffer" through the travesty of not having copy+paste. To me, a smartphone is a smartphone, they all do the same basic functions at this point. The only distinctions are the trappings, and my history with the two main schools of thought leave a bad taste in my mouth. Why should I care the masses want me to buy one phone over the other when I know exactly what I want?

In short, I love my phone, so deal with it.

Bing (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#36886958)

Microsoft brass and bean counters see Bing as a reusable component and asset that will be built into more and more products. Those who think Microsoft will discard Bing or sell it to the highest bidder are dead wrong â" that won't happen now or any time soon.'"

This is the sort of reasoning that led me to sell all of my Microsoft stock years ago. Glad to see that I made the correct decision. Clearly none of the brass and bean counters have ever pruned a tree.

Startpage.com ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36886966)

Whatever happened to Startpage.com ? Aren't people already saying "Just startpage the answer?"

Why Microsoft keeps Bing around (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36886988)

I worked in Bing for a several years as an SDE until leaving recently. The Online Services Division in which Bing resides is losing money at an alarming rate. In the last fiscal year ending June 2011, OSD lost $2.5 billion [techcrunch.com].

Why is Microsoft in this space? I heard it from Bill Gates himself at a team function last year. If Microsoft does not put up a fight in online search, Google will continue to encroach on Microsoft's cashcows, Windows and Office, with their product offerings. I don't think anyone in Microsoft really is driven to make an honest-to-goodness better search experience; Bing is just Microsoft's 70%-Achieved beachhead in online search just to keep Google honest.

Re:Why Microsoft keeps Bing around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887298)

Says pretty much all you need to know about Microsoft these days. They only care about reacting to what Google is doing and make all their business plans in regards to their competition.

BING 411 vs GOOG 411 (1)

neurocutie (677249) | more than 2 years ago | (#36886992)

I never use Bing, except that ever since GOOG 411 was decommissioned, I have been "using" BING 411. And I can say it is also about 14% as good as GOOG 411. It is really a shame that GOOG 411 was shutdown because it was really great. BING 411 is a pale, pale imitation that about 70-86% of the time is near useless, it returns wrong results, it doesn't understand what is being asked, the UI is crap, getting into virtual endless loops of user frustration, etc.

alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887008)

You could try duckduckgo

Bing just not as good search engine (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887060)

Bing just isn't very good compared to Google. I find that Google consistently gives me better search results that more relevant to what I want. For example I have been looking up NFL free agency rumors today, Google gives me current results on new articles, Bing is giving me articles from last years free agency and highlight videos. I find that Bing also puts the advertisements more in the middle of they screen and in my face, while Google's are off to the side.

Re:Bing just not as good search engine (1, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887260)

Look, the reason that Bing has as big a market share as it does is because new Windows installs still default to it, or to one of Microsoft's older offerings which in turn forward to Bing. Microsoft's secret to 30% success is basically people too lazy to go through Microsoft's absurdly complicated switch search engine functionality for the search bar. A lot of people just stick with MSN as their home page. So their market penetration has more to do with the remnants of fifteen years worth of Windows penetration.

As to Bing being a big deal on their mobile offerings, well whoopdeefuckingdoo. Everyone knows Microsoft will never be more than a bit player, so Microsoft's cut for Bing on Windows phones will be whatever percentage of that tiny percentage who don't bother to change their default search engine.

Microsoft's attempts at being the big web player have been nothing but failures from day one. They dominated the browser world, but for all of that, all they can do is throw obscene amounts of money at whatever-they're-calling-their-search-portal-today and grow with the same rate that they would have if they'd just left some modern standards compliant variant of the old MSN page up.

Re:Bing just not as good search engine (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887576)

I've found that Bing usually gives me better results than Google. Also, I don't know what Bing you're using, but the Bing I use has ads on the side, not in the middle.

And on top of that, searching for "NFL Free Agency" on Bing right now has the top 8 results all from the past 24 hours, followed by the Wikipedia article explaining what a "Free Agent" is. I suspect that you're just inventing reasons to hate on Microsoft's product.

I don't believe they have 29% (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887124)

How come every time I mistype something in an IE browser I get to bing.com even though I have added www.bing.com as a blocked site.

Change. The. Name. (3, Informative)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887178)

If anything makes me have no respect for Microsoft's search engine, it's the embarassingly stupid name they've given it.

"Google" is fun. "Bing" is childish. And tying it to a trademarked sound is just brand-development masturbation right in the face of your potential customers.

Quit it.

Re:Change. The. Name. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887772)

If anything makes me have no respect for Microsoft's search engine, it's the embarassingly stupid name they've given it.

"Google" is fun. "Bing" is childish. And tying it to a trademarked sound is just brand-development masturbation right in the face of your potential customers.

Quit it.

Also, it's a known acronym for "But It's Not Google"

Microsoft can't lose control of search (1)

WolfgangPG (827468) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887376)

Search is part of everything now. The Windows Phone (post Mango) has a Bing button. Search is a very important part of the phone. You use your phone for maps, looking up where to eat, regular searching, phone numbers, identify music, etc...

If they get rid of Bing they have to rely on Google or someone else. This basically would mean Google would be in charge of the Computing world with the #1 Mobile OS and being the only search engine on every other platform. Google would be able to dictate to Microsoft, Apple, etc...

Microsoft cannot afford to let Google be in a position where Microsoft needs to rely on them for a service as important as search.

I use Bing (1)

synapse7 (1075571) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887420)

I continue to use Bing, primarily for IT related searches, to avoid content farms and old outdated articles with inflated SEO rankings.

That's an interesting choice of words... (2)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887600)

While the world sees Bing as a distant No. 2 search engine

This is Slashdot, where curse words in posts and comments are allowed. So, it's perfectly OK to say "Bing...shit search engine"

Bada Boom (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887718)

Bada Bing! -- bad connotations. I'm sure the Crosby family would agree. They shoulda called it 'Bling' 'cause it's got so much glitter. That's also why it loads so slooooow. It almost seems like you should hafta pay for it and then feel like ya didn't get yer money's worth, ya kno? Ain't prayin', just sayin'.

What did these execs expect? (2)

Code Yanker (2359188) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887756)

I'd be curious to find out what Microsoft's initial goals were. Surely the bean counters did not expect breaking Google's stronghold on search would take a mere two years? In most tech markets, a ton of competitors show up, duke it out, and one of them eventually emerges as the clear winner and we all go home. Any companies that show up after that have to either sell niche products or EXTEND the market in some way. It looks like MS tends to take an unusual strategy here on many products, not just Bing. Bing faces Google pretty much head on and any bean counting MBA knows that will be a very expensive and long term investment. Investors certainly care more about the heres-and-nows but execs care about reaching goals. If Microsoft is reaching its goals (anybody see their last quarterly?) I imagine they will continue with their old strategy of showing up late and dumping tons of money into experimental projects that compete directly with established market champions. I'm no business analyst, but it looks like MS loves to have its fingers in every little place where software exists, in some small-but-significant corner of the market, for the infrequent moments when it gains dominance and gets some incremental shread of long-term relevancy.
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