The realignment in the tech world triggered by the smartphone wars continues apace. The latest installment: Microsoft and RIM, which will make Bing the default search engine on the BlackBerry. It may only be a distribution deal for search and maps at this stage, but the appearance of Steve Ballmer at a big RIM event was striking. Read more
Yahoo on Wednesday began rolling out improvements to its core search function that produce results–not just links–on popular subjects much faster than before. Read more
Google’s accusation today that Microsoft’s Bing is copying its search results feels like a telling moment in the long-running Search Wars.
When I caught up just now with Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search quality, he didn’t mince his words: “It’s crazy. I haven’t seen anything like this in ten years in search.” For Microsoft, it raises an uncomfortable question: after years of work and hundreds of millions of dollars, is it still unable to match Google without hanging onto its coattails? Read more
Tech news from around the web:
- RIM is considering a feature that will allow BlackBerry devices to run Android apps, according to BGR. The company is looking at using a Java virtual machine that would allow the forthcoming PlayBook and other QNX devices to run just about any application built for the Android platform.
Japan’s antitrust authorities have cleared Yahoo Japan’s plan to rely on Google for algorithmic search results, rejecting complaints from Microsoft and others that the combined service would field as much as 90 per cent of the nation’s search queries.
Japan Fair Trade Commission officials told wire services that they would not block the deal announced in July but would continue to monitor it for any harm to the market. Read more
A year after Yahoo and Microsoft finally agreed to combine their search efforts, the result is showing up.
Starting this week, natural searches on Yahoo from the US and Canada will begin being “powered” by Bing, the Microsoft search engine. Paid search results are still on track to be delivered by Microsoft this autumn, Yahoo executives said Tuesday, unless quality issues force a delay past the winter holidays.
Most users won’t be able to tell the difference, but the relevance should be better, said Yahoo vice president Shashi Seth. Read more
Today’s closure of Microsoft’s two-year-old Cashback experiment serves as a reminder of an important point: it has failed to come up with any smart ideas to subvert Google’s business model.
Ballmer and Gates always made clear that they saw the search wars taking place on two fronts – technology and business model. Improving the quality of results and the user experience was only part of the fight. Turning the tables on Google through business innovation supposedly offered another opportunity. Read more
The quote most commonly attributed to ice hockey great Wayne Gretzky is that he skated to where the puck was going to be next, not where it was at the time.
Google has clearly taken this message to heart, to judge from the advances it showed off on Monday in the areas of mobile and real-time search.
What made this all the more striking was the contrast with Microsoft, which last week tried to whip up attention for Bing with a rare event in Silicon Valley to boast its own search innovations. Microsoft’s interest seemed very much focussed on where the puck already is – though it still has some fresh ideas that suggest it should be able to put up a better fight in this latest round of the Search Wars. Read more
Over the weekend we revealed that News Corp and Microsoft were in talks to “de-index” News Corp’s content from Google, in favour of Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
By today it was clear that this is part of a broader move by Microsoft to boost Bing by getting publishers to cut their sites off from Google. Read more
It’s hard to know how much to read into the gains that Bing has notched up in its first eight weeks, but one thing’s for sure: if it hadn’t shown these early signs of life Microsoft would currently be facing a barrage of criticism and some very difficult decisions.
The latest figures from comScore today show Bing clawing back half a percentage point of the US search market for Microsoft in July. At 8.9 per cent, its share is now up nearly a point from the 8.0 per cent recorded in May. Read more
Eric Schmidt likes to claim that competition for Google’s search users is “just one click away”.
It’s easy to brush that off as a gesture to appease regulators, or just plain paranoia. But there’s a clear element of truth to it.
ComScore’s latest analysis of the US search market, released today, rubs in the point that Google’s users have already found out how to click elsewhere: they just aren’t doing it that much yet. Read more
Does Microsoft really have the stomach to pour another $10bn or more into the seemingly bottomless pit of internet search?
Steve Ballmer was certainly talking tough on Thursday, declaring that the company was prepared to commit 5-10 per cent of its annual operating income (2008 total: $22bn) to search for the next five years.
This is not really surprising. He has made similar comments in the past. And as Youssef Squali at Jefferies points out, based on the last few quarters Microsoft is already losing around $2bn a year in online services. So all Ballmer’s statement really adds up to is a declaration that he is prepared to stay the course.
However, coming nearly three weeks after the launch of Bing, it is the timing, rather than the content, of the message that is important. Read more
Bing has moved the needle for Microsoft, but not much.
That is according to figures from comScore, which showed an increase in traffic to the new Microsoft search service in the days since it was launched. Curiosity about Bing lifted the number of Microsoft searches by 20 per cent from the week before and the numbers held steady for five days, suggesting searchers liked what they saw and have been coming back for more.
That still only amounts to two extra points of market share, though. Read more
Microsoft is taking aim at Google’s core business with Bing, its new search engine.
Initial reviews around the web are positive. CNET said, “in search presentation, Bing wins.” Geekword said it was not just renamed Live Search, but rather “a significant upgrade that contains new features and a new interface and is considered as a decision engine.” But Search Engine Land made it clear that, “no, Bing is not a ‘Google Killer.’”
FT reporter Joe Menn attended Bing’s unveiling at the D7 conference, and filed this report:
Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer gave an impressive demonstration of the company’s improved search engine, rebranded as “Bing,” at a technology conference in Carlsbad California.