Ballmer: Bing Won’t Have Bang For A While


Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced during the National Summit in Detroit that Bing would have a potentially hard and long road as it attempts to compete with Google in the search-engine space

Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing, may have gained market-share during its first few weeks of release, but Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sees a long road ahead for the application as it attempts to challenge Google.

“We have had some very good initial response,” Ballmer said during the National Summit in Detroit on 17 June, according to Reuters. “I don’t want to over-set expectations. We are going to have to be tenacious and keep up the pace of innovation over a long period of time.”

According to a report by research firm ComScore, Bing acquitted itself well during its second week of release, with its daily penetration among U.S. searchers increasing by 3 percentage points to 16.7 percent.

During that same June 8-12 period, Microsoft’s share of U.S. search result pages increased to 12.1 percent, a gain of 3 percentage points over the weeklong period preceding the 1 June release of Bing.

An initial report from StatCounter suggested that Bing had overtaken Yahoo by more than 6 points in U.S. search engine market share during that first week of release; however, reports by Nielsen and other firms disputed these findings. A subsequent comScore report found that Microsoft’s rate of searcher penetration had increased 1.7 percent, to 15.5 percent, while its share of search-results pages increased by 2 percent to 11.1 percent during Bing’s first week of release.

Google continues to hold a double-digit lead over its competitors in the search-engine space.

Ballmer also suggested during the conference that IT trends such as cloud computing would have a substantial impact on other industries, including Detroit’s long-suffering automotive-manufacturing base.

“Here in Detroit, the Ford Sync is a great example,” Ballmer said, according to a transcript of the event. “Sync, which was jointly developed by Ford and Microsoft, gives drivers safe, voice-activated access to music, communications, the Internet, traffic reports, business listings, news, weather updates, emergency services, and if they’re Aaron Ballmer, age 10, my son, sports scores.”

Microsoft has made previous advances into the vehicle space, notably with its Microsoft Auto software platform, paired with Intel Atom processors specially designed for in-vehicle systems, and offering features such as mobile device integration and speech recognition.

“They’re putting high-powered computing in the hands of all scientists, car designers, energy scientists, you name it,” Ballmer continued. “There are new tools that let us model the physical world and the virtual world. And so when we talk about climate science, energy science, new battery technology, new transportation technology, we are talking about giving scientists the tools to push forward and solve those problems here in Detroit and really around the world.”