Microsoft Celebrates 10 Years of Bing

Posted on May 28, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Bing + MSN with 43 Comments

Microsoft is celebrating the 10th anniversary of launching Bing as its Internet search engine. But Bing wasn’t Microsoft’s first try at this market: It previously marketed MSN Search, Windows Live Search, and Live Search before recalibrating and recasting a rebranded Bing as a “decision engine” in hopes of differentiating it from Google Search.

“Today we’re introducing a new kind of search that goes beyond traditional search engines to help you make faster, more informed decisions,” Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi wrote back on May 28, 2009. “It will do this by combining a great search engine (with powerful new features to improve your results for any query), more organized results, and unique tools to help you make important decisions. We think of Bing as a Decision Engine.”

Most Internet users think of Bing as an also-ran: The service has never achieved double-digit usage share worldwide and now commands just 8.24 percent usage, compared to 75.5 percent for Google and 10.47 percent for Baidu. On mobile, Bing is nonexistent with just 0.82 percent usage share.

But Bing and the data that feeds it is still very important to Microsoft, and the software giant has parlayed this data and the insights it provides into a valuable background service that feeds the Microsoft Graph and integrates deeply with various other products and services. And for users wary of Google’s intrusive privacy violations, Bing is the key non-Chinese search engine alternative.

As for the service’s controversial name, Mr. Mehdi explained at the time that Microsoft was looking for “a brand that was as fresh and new as our approach.” It had to be short, easy to spell, and function well as an Internet address around the world. Perhaps more problematically, Bing never really evolved into a credible verb: While people often say they will Google something, using Bing in that way is usually just meant to be sarcastic.

Ah well. Happy anniversary, Bing. We’re still trying to love you.

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Comments (43)

43 responses to “Microsoft Celebrates 10 Years of Bing”

  1. Avatar

    hrlngrv

    Gosh, when's the next big anniversary for MS Bob?

  2. Avatar

    bill_russell

    A couple times over the years I think I heard someone say "Bing-it" but they probably got slapped eventually. My understanding it was a recursive acronym that meant "bing is not google". But we need Bing, to keep Google from becomming any more dominant than it is - for its own good.

  3. Avatar

    robinwilson16

    I've tried Bing over the years but its search results are never as good as Google although I do love its backgrounds. I normally set Bing as the homepage but then search in the address bar. Maybe with its decision engine it is instead searching for something slightly different that it thought I wanted. Whatever it is, the search results are less accurate.

  4. Avatar

    dallasnorth40

    I find no real difference between the results provided by the two search engines.

    So, I use Bing because it looks better. A whole LOT better.

  5. Avatar

    red.radar

    I actually saw something useful bing does that google doesn’t. If you are signed into an organizations office365 account if you search on bing it will search your companies cloud and intranet storage as well. I have actually found it somewhat useful...


    the moment i discovered it I had to cheer a little for bing.

  6. Avatar

    toph36

    Bing has almost a 25% market share in the US. Sure, Windows 10 helps, but I prefer Bing. I have it set as my default in Chrome and on my Android phone (on which I prefer Edge). Fact is Microsoft hasn't done a good job localizing Bing outside the US and that is why the global share remains under 10%.

  7. Avatar

    kjb434

    Still prefer it to Google. I occasional check against Google and find the result about the same.


    Big plus is that the Bing experience is light years ahead of Google.

  8. Avatar

    BlackForestHam

    I loved using Bing search ... in exchange for Starbucks cards.

  9. Avatar

    pargon

    Have used bing pretty much exclusively since it came out. Works great, especially after google made their image search so you have to visit the website. Google sure as hell doesn't give me rewards like Bing does....plus their tracking and data collection is scary. Just cashed out $65 of Bing rewards and bought some games on the xbox store :-)


    Oh, the daily images are also something I enjoy - learn a few snippets about a new place most days in 5 seconds.

  10. Avatar

    ariana2016

    For me, I feel that Bing is returning more relevant results recently (not compared to Google but compared to what Bing was a few years ago) and the UI is somewhat superior to what Google offers, particularly in picture and video search.


    My main problem with Bing is the query auto completion. I rely on what Google offers and it makes me sure that I am looking for the right thing. Bing's auto completion, on the hand, is far inferior.

  11. Avatar

    MarkPow

    When I hear "bing!" I tend to think my dinner is ready...

  12. Avatar

    jchampeau

    Paul, if this whole writing/blogging/podcasting thing doesn't work out for you, I think you have a real future in hero-image-picking.

  13. Avatar

    maglezs

    I always use BING signed with my personal and work account (to search company files, people) it works great, never feel I missed something. For my particular needs I don't see any practical use that probes Google is better.

  14. Avatar

    sharpsone

    I Bing every f****** day in as many positions and on as many devices as possible. I don't miss Google one bit... seems like others need to branch out and stop following the pack.

  15. Avatar

    Tony Barrett

    Every single MS search engine has been a dud. Every. Single. One. Bing is no different. The only reason it get's the hits it does is because it's baked into Windows 10. Very, very few consciously use and chose Bing. Even if you hate Google, many still won't use Bing, because they don't like MS either. There's no sign this is going to change - Bing is 10 years old, and it still only get's 8% of searches!

    • Avatar

      BoItmanLives

      In reply to ghostrider:

      Sad but true. And the Windows 10 hostages that *think* they're googling something when they're really just using bing... are those 8%


      Nobody chooses bing. Not even MS employees.

      • Avatar

        Chris

        In reply to BoItmanLives:

        I must be the odd one out then, because I do use Bing. I find that for some of the searches I do, Bing gives me better results than Google does, which seems to throw all sorts of crap at the top of the search.


        Other times Google is the better choice, so I tend to use both, depending on what I am looking for. (MS based stuff is better in Bing than Google, and even some IT searches come up with better results in Bing).

  16. Avatar

    Stooks

    I switched to Bing when I switched to the new Edge. I forced my self to stay there and after a few weeks it works just as well for me. My use of search is not advanced so maybe there is stuff I can't do in Bing, but I would not know.


    After what Google just did with YouTube when using the new Edge....I don't plan on using any Google services unless I have simply have too....like YouTube or Maps.

  17. Avatar

    Bats

    Wow.... despite all the warnings from Microsoft and Thurrott.com, STILL 75% market share.


    The fact is, nobody trusts Bing. I one time asked this paralegal to find the address of a particular expert witness so I can mail a subpoena to him. The paralegal came back to me and said he couldn't find anything. In disbelief, I googled the name of the expert witness and found the information I needed. Thinking that the paralegal wasn't doing his work, I walked up to his cubicle and brought up the issue with him. He then went ahead and showed what he did. The first thing he did wrong was bring up Internet Explorer. The fatal flaw in his workflow was that he used Bing. Not wanting to embarrass the paralegal, with is colleagues around, I gently told him that next time he needs to use Chrome and Google. That's because you just can't trust Bing, to give you answers for anything. 


    Bing as an alternative to Google Search? Heck NO. To be honest, I was surprised by this number because I thought Bing had 30% marketshare. But single digit marketshare? Dude, that's gotta tell you something. Ya know what it tells me? Microsoft isn't feeding it's graph right over 90% of the world rejects Bing.

    • Avatar

      Lordbaal

      In reply to Bats:

      BS.

      Lawyers have a service that can get them address. They don't have to search the internet for it.

      • Avatar

        remc86007

        In reply to Lordbaal:

        Lawyer here; that's not necessarily true. I search for people online all the time.


        Ironically, I have used Bing as my primary search for several years. Only one time did I not find what I wanted and then was able to find it with Google. Bing and Google for 99.9% of searches are equal. I have had several instances where a colleague failed to find something with Google which I easily found with Bing.

  18. Avatar

    bbold

    Chandler Bing was the best! :D

  19. Avatar

    rm

    I use Bing and maybe once a year use Google to see if it is any better, I have never found the results better. Bing also looks a lot better.

    • Avatar

      max daru

      In reply to RM:

      For years at work, I've tested this sentiment that Google is way better than Bing. I call it a sentiment because the colleagues that use Google find the same results I do using Bing, but Bing presents it in a way that's more readable.

  20. Avatar

    wbhite

    Once "Google" became a verb in the mainstream, it became almost impossible for anyone to truly compete against it. I've tried to use it at various points over the years, to see how it compares to Google, but it has never grabbed me. Who knows, maybe Google's data collection tactics will push me over the edge one day (eh, probably not).

    • Avatar

      VMax

      In reply to wbhite:

      I use Bing by default because I find no real difference between them, as another poster mentions. Nevertheless, I still say "I'll Google that". Partly it's habit, and partly I think it's just easier when speaking to give someone a sentence in the format they expect.

  21. Avatar

    dcdevito

    Perhaps Microsoft should try to cut a deal with Google and have Windows users search with Google but without the tracking. Similar to Edge, give its users the best experience without the tracking.


    Just a thought. I’m sure there are millions of reasons this wouldn’t work.

  22. Avatar

    AnOldAmigaUser

    They used to have a site "bingiton.com" I think, that actually ran the query in both Google and Bing. It was sort of useful, and sometimes rather amusing.

  23. Avatar

    Lordbaal

    Some stuff is better on bing. Some stuff is better on google.

    I find searching for how to thing on bing gives me better and more relevant results then google.

  24. Avatar

    yoshi

    Don't forget - right now there is 300 points for desktop search and 200 points for mobile per day. Normally it's 150/100. If you're into collecting MS Points(free Xbox Live Gold!)

  25. Avatar

    CompUser

    I use Bing all the time, both at home and at work. Although the search results seem to be pretty much the same as Google (when I've done side-by-side comparisons), the Bing results page has a nicer look and is better organized for me. A large number of people I know who say Bing sucks have probably never tried it, even though they claim they have. Not that it matters to me, but if you say something sucks, you should at least try it before you say that.

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