19 June, 2009

Microsoft's Ballmer downplays expectations for Bing

Posted: 18 June 2009 1503 hrs

Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer

DETROIT - Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer on Wednesday downplayed expectations for the success of the newly launched Bing search engine, but said the company was committed to challenge Google over the long-term.

"When you're sitting there as we are in the search base, you've got eight percent share and there's a kind of a big dog competitor out there in the market place, you can do very big things," Ballmer said.

The initial response to Bing has been "very good" Ballmer said, but it will not displace Google anytime soon.

"I don't want to overset expectations. We're going to have to be tenacious and keep up the pace of innovation over a long period of time," Ballmer told an economic summit in Detroit, Michigan.

"We may be successful, we may not, but we can't be successful without being committed to changing things, changing the approach, changing the business model and you can't give up in six months, or a year or two years."

Microsoft said that Bing, unveiled at the end of May, is designed to intuitively understand what people are seeking on the Internet and challenge online king Google.

The US software colossus described Bing as a "Decision Engine" aimed at helping people make buying decisions, plan trips, research health matters or find local businesses.

Bing's launch came in the wake of Google and Yahoo! announcing refinements to their search services and the launch of a Wolfram Alpha query engine that delivers answers instead of lists of websites.

Bing replaces MSN Live Search, which has languished in a distant third place behind market-leading Google and second-place Yahoo!

Bing relies predominately on algorithms and key words to provide results for online searches but has infused some semantic technology that deduces intended meanings of phrases, according to Microsoft.

Ballmer declined to comment on what Bing's launch meant for Microsoft's attempt to acquire Yahoo!

Online tracking firm comScore said Wednesday that Microsoft saw its share of search result pages in the United States continue to climb during the second week of Bing's introduction.

Microsoft Sites' share of search result pages in the United States increased to 12.1 percent June 8 to 12, up three percentage points from the May 25 to 29 period prior to Bing's introduction, comScore said.

Microsoft's average daily penetration among US searchers also increased by three percentage points to 16.7 percent during the work week of June 8 to 12, comScore found.

ComScore on Wednesday also released US search engine rankings for May, before Bing's introduction.

Google grabbed 65 percent of the US search market for the month followed by Yahoo! with 20.1 percent and Microsoft with eight percent. - AFP/fa

From ChannelNewsAsia.com; see the source article here.

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