Bing, which also powers Yahoo and offers a fancy iPad app, often gets high marks in studies that rate the effectiveness of search engines, yet Google captures about two-thirds of U.S. market share and more than 80% of the global market.
Microsoft rarely masks its hatred of all things Google, which makes most of its money on search advertising while investing in other products that eat into Microsoft market share, like Chrome and Android.
But with Bing, "They're so far behind, it's a long slog," says Wes Miller, a former Microsoft Windows program manager who is now research vice president at Directions on Microsoft. "People innately think of Google for search. How do you replace Kleenex? They're going to have to keep burning money for the foreseeable future until they can come up with something that out-Googles Google."
Microsoft cares about search because of advertising revenue, and also because Google has become synonymous with the Internet in almost the same way Microsoft became synonymous with personal computers.
Microsoft's response: "This is a long-term game for Bing," Microsoft said via email. "Bing continues to be focused on creating a great consumer experience, solid execution and steady market share growth. The most recent comScore market share report shows that Bing is continuing to make gains in the U.S., reaching 14.4% explicit core search share in June. Overall, Bing increased market share by more than 50% since launch."
Once upon a time, Microsoft's Internet Explorer commanded greater than 90% market share, dominating the Web browser market as much as Windows dominates PCs today. The Microsoft monopoly earned itself antitrust penalties by beating Netscape into submission, but it wasn't until the rise of Mozilla's Firefox (a descendant of Netscape) and Google's Chrome that the monopoly would be broken.