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Bing's Growth Surprises in July

Market share results for Microsoft Bing's second full month of use show the new search engine gaining share with a bit of a growth surprise.

According to The Nielsen Company's MegaView Search figures for July, released Wednesday, Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Bing grew by eight percent month-over-month from June, giving the fledgling search engine a nine percent overall share of U.S. searches.

In comparison, Yahoo Search grew by 11 percent month-over-month in July for a total share of 17.1 percent, while Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) easily maintained its dominance with three percent growth and a total share of 64.8 percent, Nielsen said.

Although Bing's growth rate is not stunning, it appears to be consistently growing by small increments. CEO Steve Ballmer has said he is patient, and willing to spend between five percent and ten percent of Microsoft's operating income over the next five years to make Bing a success.

If it were two years from now, when Microsoft's recently-announced deal with Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) is expected to be completed, the two companies would be wielding a combined total share of searches of 26.1 percent. That's much better odds than Microsoft Bing alone could muster, at least at this point.

Microsoft launched its latest assault on the search engine market, introducing Bing at the end of May, and in early weeks of use made similar small, though meaningful, gains.

Nielsen's latest figures show that, of a total of 10.5 billion searches in the U.S. in July, Google handled 6.8 billion, Yahoo got 1.8 billion, and Bing brought in 947 million searches.



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