Microsoft's Bing Chips Away at Google's Lead
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Microsoft's new Bing search engine gained U.S. market share in its first month in operation but still trails dominant rival Google, according to data released on Wednesday.
Bing, launched on June 3 but available to some users a few days earlier, took 8.23 percent of U.S. Web searches in June, up from 7.81 percent for Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) search just prior to its rollout and 7.21 percent in April, said Internet data firm StatCounter.
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) lost share slightly, dipping to 78.48 percent from 78.72 percent before Bing. Yahoo, the perennial No. 2 in the market, rose to 11.04 percent from 10.99 percent.
The results may give heart to Microsoft, which is investing heavily in its loss-making online services business and is refusing to cede the market to Google.
"At first sight, a 1 percent increase in market share does not appear to be a huge return on the investment Microsoft has made in Bing but the underlying trend appears positive," StatCounter Chief Executive Adohan Cullen said in a statement.
The world's largest software company may yet strike an online search partnership with Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) to make itself a credible competitor, but talk of such a deal has quieted down.
StatCounter, based in Dublin, says its data are based on 4 billion pageloads per month monitored through a network of Web sites. Other data research firms such as comScore are not expected to release figures on Bing's share until mid-July.