It has been six years since Microsoft first launched Bing and attempted to take on Google’s search engine. In the eyes of the consumer, Bing has been a major disappointment and in many cases, the punchline of countless jokes. Things may be changing as now Microsoft is reporting to have lessened the amount of capital that Bing had been bleeding and is seeing a positive swing in profit margins due to new acquisitions and performance improvements, but only time may tell.
Microsoft’s goal was for Bing to be profitable by FY16. Microsoft’s 2016 fiscal year will start on July 1st, which puts Bing right on track. A recent interview my Microsoft’s VP Rik van der Kooi, who handles advertiser and publisher solutions, had hinted at the profitability of Bing saying that “It’s a multibillion dollar business, and it does pay for itself right now.” This comment was enough for many to believe that that Bing is now a “self-sustaining business.”
Whether Bing is profitable or not, there is no denying the 20% of market share that Microsoft worked so hard to achieve in an industry with competition such has Yahoo and Google who’s been in the industry much longer. Through 2009-2011, Microsoft’s online services division, who controls most of Bings operations were consistently losing hundreds of millions per quarter. Many had advised Microsoft to sell off their business to another company that might have a better chance competing with google.
Microsoft’s persistence is paying off as Microsoft has announced a 10 year deal with AOL, making Bing their primary search engine, and replacing Google at the same time. This news comes only a few weeks after Yahoo was reported to have taken search engine responsibilities for the Mozilla Firefox web browser.
Last month Microsoft had released a software update that enhanced the video search capabilities of Bing providing users a better experience when searching for YouTube videos than searching on Googles video search engine.
These events will surely not effect Google’s hold on the market share but does provide a clear insight as to times changing.